- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 17, 2016

Senate Democrats gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court Thursday to call on Republican leaders to hold a confirmation hearing for President Obama’s Supreme court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland.

“The Republicans in the Senate need to do their job,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, who called Judge Garland “eminently qualified.”

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky “cannot prevail” in his vow not to hold hearings or a vote on the nominee.

“He’s going to lose this issue,” Mr. Reid said.

Mr. Obama nominated Judge Garland, 63, on Wednesday to fill the vacancy created by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia last month. He has served since 1997 on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Mr. McConnell and other Senate Republicans contend the voters should have a say by electing a new president in November to pick a nominee.

“Republicans think the people deserve a voice in this critical decision,” Mr. McConnell said. “The president does not. So we disagree in this instance and as a result, we logically act as a check and balance.”

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said Senate Republicans “want Donald Trump to pick the next nominee.”

“Donald Trump won’t make America great again, but he will make the Republicans the minority again,” Mr. Schumer said.

Judge Garland was making courtesy calls to Capitol Hill Thursday to meet with Mr. Reid and Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

Mr. McConnell has said he won’t meet with Judge Garland, although a handful of other Republican senators have agreed to meet with the nominee.

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