Hillary Clinton is about to step up the fight against Senate Republicans and their refusal to give constitutional hearings to Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.
Despite his impressive resume, including a stint prosecuting the worst domestic terrorist in America, most Republicans haverefused to even give Garland a standard meeting, let alone give him an up or down vote in the Senate.
In a speech about the Supreme Court that Clinton is scheduled to deliver at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the Democratic front-runner is expected to single out Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and challenge him to hold hearings on the nomination of Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated last month by the death of Antonin Scalia, according to a campaign official.
Clinton has spoken out forcefully against the Republicans’ intransigence to hold nominating hearings, accusing the GOP of implicit racism in ignoring President Barack Obama’s nominee, and noting that it has never taken the Senate more than 125 days to vote on a Supreme Court nomination.
Even controversial Supreme Court nominees offered up by Republican presidents, like Justices Alito and Roberts and nominee Robert Bork, were given hearings and subjected to a vote by the U.S. Senate.
Republicans have offered several phony excuses for the opposition to Garland, including the strange claim that the Senate shouldn’t act on nominees in the last year of a presidency. Historical precedent has already shown that that isn’t true.
Republican leaders with no actual role in Garland’s nomination, like Speaker Paul Ryan, have also chimed in against an up or down vote.
But polling shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans, including many Republicans, believe that Garland deserves a fair hearing. In response, some Republicans have already given in on sitting down and having a discussion with the nominee, particularly those in blue or purple states who face re-election this year against strong Democratic candidates.
The rest of the Republicans opposed to a Garland hearing are already facing the prospect of having their obstruction linked to highly unpopular presidential candidate Donald Trump. Trump has made the same arguments against a Garland hearing as his Republican allies, and some, like Senator John McCain (R-AZ) are facing advertising tying them in with Trump’s position here, among others.
Despite Arizona’s history as a Republican state, the most recent polling has shown McCain tied with his Democratic challenger. Maybe he and his colleagues will stop the Garland blockade?
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