President Obama said Sunday he will stand by Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court all the way through the end of his term, despite Republican opposition or the possibility a potential Democratic successor picking a more liberal judge.
Mr. Obama told “Fox News Sunday” he still believes the majority of senators ultimately will decide that Judge Garland — chief justice of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and nominated to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia — should be confirmed.
But the president also is ready for a fight and said there are no circumstances in which he’ll pull the nomination, and he predicted Republicans eventually will cave.
“I think if they go through the process, they won’t have a rationale to defeat him,” Mr. Obama said. “My point is, go through the process, go through the hearings, and if you do that, the American people and the majority of senators will determine that, in fact, he is qualified to be on the court … What we can’t have is a situation in which the Republican Senate simply says, ‘Because it’s a Democratic president, we are not going to do our job, have hearings, and have a vote.’”
Mr. Obama also was asked whether he would consider pulling the Garland nomination after the November election, if a Democrat were elected to succeed him and theoretically could nominate a more liberal judge.
“Absolutely not,” the president responded.