GOP senator meets with Garland, says hearings should be held

Sen. Susan M. Collins, Maine Republican who favors a confirmation hearing, is meeting with Judge Garland on Tuesday.

"It was a lengthy meeting". Collins, a moderate, has broken with her party on a number of issues, including her support for Obama's stimulus bill.

Garland's sit-down with Collins came as Senate Democrats continued to hammer Republicans for not agreeing to at least grant him a hearing. Grassley returned the call and during a "short conversation" invited Garland to meet. It did have the rumor mill going as to whether Senate Republicans might budge on the matter; I guess we can say those innuendos have been settled.

"This is the process", Manchin replied.

Clinton, April 3: So I appointed Judge Garland.

Senators returned to Washington this week after a two-week recess in their home states, where Democrats kept up a heavy barrage of attacks, protests and events to highlight the Republican senators who oppose going through the confirmation process for Judge Merrick Garland, who was nominated three weeks ago by Obama.

"It's safe to say there will not be hearings or votes", Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, reiterated as senators returned from a two-week break. "I want to make it clear that the message we told him on the phone yesterday - I will tell him face-to-face". Once the President names a nominee, the Senate Judiciary Committee takes the nomination under consideration. A recent Monmouth University poll found that almost seven in 10 Americans think the Senate should hold hearings on Judge Garland. After all, they each swore an oath to a Constitution that requires them to provide advice and consent on the president's Supreme Court nominee.

Sen. Collins shared a statement following her meeting saying it convinced her more than ever that the process of finding a replacement for the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia should proceed.

With a similar sentiment, Sen.

Some Republicans are concerned that Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, would select a more liberal nominee than Garland.

However, a spokesman for the senator says he has not changed his mind about waiting until the next president is sworn into office to consider who should take Scalia's seat on the supreme court.

Jon Kohan, a campaign manager for Ayotte, noted that Vice President Joe Biden said in 1992 that the Senate should delay confirming a Supreme Court nominee until after the election of the president. One group, FreedomWorks, said Collins was caving to the White House and wasn't to be trusted.

As senators argue over his nomination on the floor, Garland is continuing his visits. "But that is not true in these cases".

Asked if she will be able to influence Grassley, Collins said that while the Judiciary Committee chairman has agreed to meet with the president's pick, the Iowa senator is "sincere" in his current position. "Public hearings before the Judiciary Committee would allow that the issues that we explored in my office today to be further reviewed and analyzed by the Senate".

Grassley did not refer to any specific cases in his speech.

A lawsuit from 26 states, led by Texas, challenges the president's actions, with the Supreme Court set to hear arguments later this month and possibly rule in June. The American people do have a voice in any nomination Obama makes. At Northwestern College in Orange City, for example, the most applause was when a woman thanked Grassley for his decision not to hold hearings. Shaheen has called for a hearing and a vote.

Most significantly, he was on the appeals court panel that issued the adverse decision in San Manuel Indian Bingo v. NLRB, which held that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) applied to tribal gaming enterprises despite their governmental nature.

"Certainly, we've got that arrow in the quiver to do that and other things if we choose", he said. "Right now, the pressure's on them, not on us". Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.

"As Senator Reid said, we have a lot of options, and we'll consider all of them", he told reporters.

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