Even though some Senate Republicans have vowed not to approve Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, at least one House Democrat believes that Garland will make it through by the end of the year, the Hill reported.
Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., said the chances of Garland making it through the GOP blockade are better than some may think. “I’d be surprised if [Judge Garland’s] not confirmed at some point this year,” Kind told the Hill. “I think they are going to go with the Obama nominee rather than wait and see what President Clinton offers them.”
Kind predicted that Democrats will regain control of the Senate and Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton will win the White House, making Garland, a centrist, a safe choice compared to someone Clinton might nominate. Garland was nominated this week to the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last month.
Some Senate Republicans said this week they may want to let through an Obama nominee before he leaves office in case a Democrat is victorious in the November presidential election, Reuters reported.
“I would choose a less liberal nominee. And this nominee is a less liberal nominee than we would get, I'm quite certain, with Hillary Clinton,” Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., a member of the Judiciary Committee, told Reuters. The committee holds hearings to vet Supreme Court nominees.
Not all Republicans have rejected Obama's nominee. Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich has said Senate Republicans should at least meet with Garland.
A 19-year veteran of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Garland is currently the chief judge of that court. He has not had to rule in cases involving some contentious issues, such as abortion and gay rights, but both the left and the right have worried about some of his past decisions in other controversial areas.
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) March 19, 2016
Some liberals have questioned his record in criminal justice, believing he is less sympathetic to defendants. Conservatives have expressed concerns about his Second Amendment views.