Published February 20, 2016
WASHINGTON— With the sudden death of United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Antoinin Scalia, President Barack Obama has the constitutional authority to nominate a replacement the nation’s highest court.
Within the hour of the official announcement of Scalia’s death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to block any nominee until after the November 2016 presidential election.
Judge Humetewa is a tribal citizen of the Hopi Nation. She may be able to garner bi-partisan support. Her name was first recommended to become a U.S. Attorney in 2007 by Senators John McCain and Jon Kly, from her home state of Arizona. Former President George W. Bush nominated her.
In 2014 she was nominated by President Obama to be a federal district judge and confirmed by the Senate.
“Diane Humetewa is an inspiration to Native people, especially Native women across Indian Country. This is an important appointment and long overdue. I’m pleased that the Senate came together in a bipartisan way to get this done. As the only Native American in active service on the federal bench, Diane provides much-needed expertise on the complexities of federal law and Indian sovereignty,” commented U.S. Senator Jon Tester in May 2014, after Judge Humetewa made history as she became the first American Indian woman to become a federal judge.
Her addition to the Supreme Court would bring expertise American Indian law and she would become the first American Indian member of the Supreme Court.
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