Mark Kirk becomes first Republican to meet with Garland

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., has become the first Republican to meet with Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.

According to CBS News, the two met Tuesday afternoon on Capitol Hill. Sen. Kirk encouraged the other senators to follow his suit and meet with Garland. He said that those refusing to do so are being “closed-minded.”

There are some other senators who share Kirk’s views. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has expressed willingness to meet with Garland and plans on doing so soon.

 

Blogger says opposition to Merrick Garland’s nomination is “nonsensical”

This blog post by Robert Schlesinger of U.S. News and World Report aims to show that the opposition to President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court is “nonsensical.”

The blog post addresses the claims made by Orrin Hatch in an op-ed article for The New York Times. In the article, Hatch says that “throughout its history, the Senate has never confirmed a nominee to fill a Supreme Court vacancy that occurred this late in a term-limited president’s time in office.”

Schlesinger points out that this is technically true. The Senate has never confirmed a nominee this late, but solely because these circumstances have never occurred before. Schlesinger also points out that Hatch’s claims are defending not confirming Garland, but they do nothing to defend the actions of the politicians who are currently refusing to even consider the nomination.

Obama nominates Merrick Garland for Supreme Court seat

President Barack Obama officially announced Wednesday his nomination of Merrick Garland for the open Supreme Court seat.

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Merrick Garland after his Supreme Court nomination, photo courtesy of NPR

President Obama believes that Judge Garland is “one of America’s sharpest legal minds,” and demanded that he receive a fair hearing. Judge Garland is known as a moderate and has gathered bipartisan support over the years, making him a good candidate for the Supreme Court position.

However, this New York Times article discussed how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell then reiterated the idea that the nomination process should be blocked. Now, only time will tell who will win the “fight” for a hearing.

Obama closes in on new Supreme Court candidate

The rumors have been confirmed – President Barack Obama announced Monday that he has been interviewing candidates to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, and he plans on making a determination soon.

This CNN article says that President Obama is searching for a “consensus candidate” who would receive support from both Democrats and Republicans. He says that he will continue to challenge the Republicans if they refuse to hear any nominations.

Sources say that the top three candidates are Sri Srinivasan and Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia Circuit, and Paul Watford, who serves on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California. President Obama is expected to make an official announcement as early as this week.

Obama speaks out on Supreme Court situation

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President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, photo courtesy of Chip Somodevilla

According to this USA Today article, President Barack Obama has spoken out about the current Supreme Court situation.

In a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Obama “accused Senate Republicans of betraying their own constitutional principles.” He claims that the Republicans’ plan to block any nominations solely because it is an election year has absolutely no root in the Constitution.

However, Senate Republicans are accusing Democrats of using the process “to score as man political points as possible.” Republicans have shown no hint of backing down in the fight to nominate-or-not a new Supreme Court justice.

Sources say Obama has begun interviewing Supreme Court candidates

The Washington Times reports that President Barack Obama has begun interviewing candidates to replace Antonin Scalia as the next Supreme Court justice.

Sources say these candidates include Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia; Judge Sri Srinivasan, of the same court; Judge Paul Watford, of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals based in San Francisco; Judge Jane Kelly, of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals based in St. Louis; and U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who serves in Washington. Each of these judges had been previously rumored to be in the running for the position.

Whether President Obama decides on a candidate or not, the next step will be up to the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell previously stated that no hearings would be held in regard to a potential nominee. However, public opinion may change that. A recent poll of registered voters by NBC News and “The Wall Street Journal” showed that the majority of Americans disapprove of the Senate Republicans’ plans to block a nomination.

Source says White House is close to a Supreme Court nominee

The New York Times reports that the White House may be close to picking a Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away in February.

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Justice Antonin Scalia, photo courtesy of BBC

A confidential source says that the FBI has been conducting background interviews on Judge Jane L. Kelly, a well-known public defender turned federal appellate judge. Just three years ago, the Senate quickly and unanimously confirmed Judge Kelly to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who recently said he had no intentions of considering any nominees or holding any hearings, may soon reconsider those claims if Judge Kelly is formally selected.