- Associated Press - Saturday, March 19, 2016

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland was the lone dissenting judge in a federal appeals court case involving a proposed nuclear waste site at Yucca Mountain.

Merrick Garland was the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals chief judge for the District of Columbia in 2013 when he dissented in a 2-1 ruling, saying money available to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was insufficient, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1TX3m4x ).

“In short, given the limited funds that remain available, issuing a writ of mandamus amounts to little more than ordering the commission to spend part of those funds unpacking its boxes, and the remainder packing them up again,” Garland wrote in his dissent.

Judges Brett Kavanaugh and A. Raymond Randolph were appointed by Republican presidents and disagreed with Garland in the ruling.

Yucca Mountain was proposed more than 30 years ago as a place to bury the nation’s nuclear waste. Some disagree the project can’t be revived.

Nevada Democratic Sen. Harry Reid met with Garland in a long-standing tradition for nominees. He said afterward that Garland’s ruling was courageous.

“He issued a brilliant dissent,” Reid said. “He disagreed with the two judges who were wrong.”

Some Republicans say they won’t meet with Garland to try blocking the process until a new president is elected.

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