Sen. Mark Kirk is calling out his U.S. Senate colleagues who refuse to meet with or convene hearings on the president’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland.
“Man up and cast a vote,” Kirk said in an interview on WLS AM radio Friday. “We should go through the process the Constitution has already laid out. The president has already laid out a nominee who is from Chicagoland and for me, I’m open to see him, to talk to him, and ask him his views on the Constitution.”
Garland, who grew up in north suburban Lincolnwood and graduated from Niles West High School in Skokie in 1970, is the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. The 63-year-old was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit in 1997.
Prior to his judicial year, he was an assistant federal prosecutor in the U.S. attorney’s office, where he worked on the drug case against Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry, supervised the Unabomber prosecution and the probe of the U.S. Olympics bombing in 1996.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, is leading the charge to ignore President Obama’s nominee, saying the “American people should have a voice.” Obama, re-elected to the presidency in 2012, will remain in office until Jan. 20, 2017. It’s the president’s job to nominate a candidate to Supreme Court vacancies when they arise. It’s the Senate’s job to review those candidates and approve or reject them.
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McConnell has told Garland he won’t even meet with him. The president said Garland has earned praise for years from both Republicans and Democrats. McConnell said it doesn’t matter who the nominee is, he will not convene a hearing on the Supreme Court vacancy.