- The Washington Times - Monday, April 4, 2016

Sen. Charles E. Grassley will meet with Judge Merrick Garland, but only to tell him why he won’t get a full hearing before the Judiciary Committee nor have his Supreme Court nomination considered by the Senate this year, Mr. Grassley’s office said Monday.

The meeting alone is significant since many GOP senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, have declined a meeting, saying it would not be worthwhile on a nomination that isn’t going anywhere.

Mr. Grassley, Iowa Republican and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, spoke with Judge Garland by phone Monday, and issued an invite to breakfast — though the date hasn’t been set yet.

President Obama nominated Judge Garland last month to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February. But Republicans, who control the chamber, say the pick should be an issue in November’s elections and should be left to the next president.

Democrats have taken particular aim at Mr. Grassley back home in Iowa, trying to pressure him to take action on the Garland nomination now. They hope that if enough senators meet with him, they’ll agree to hold public hearings — and they are convinced that once Judge Garland appears before a hearing, he’ll do so well that the Senate will have to confirm him.

So far, the GOP has remained unified, with more than 50 of the 54 members saying they will not confirm any replacement for Scalia before the general election.

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• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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