Illinois U.S. Senator Mark Kirk did what no other Republican senator has done so far; he met with the president’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Kirk said despite the opinion of GOP senate leadership of not dealing with the open seat on the bench, he says he needed to reach out to Merrick Garland and discuss serving on the nation’s high court.
President Obama selected Garland to replace the late Antonin Scalia, but Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there would not be a vote on the president’s nominee. McConnell says since the vacancy is in an election year, it should be up to the next president to fill the seat. Democrats have been critical of the GOP stance on the replacement process, calling it a constitutional duty for the senate judiciary committee to hold a hearing on the nomination. With a Republican majority in the senate, a confirmation of Garland is unlikely, but Kirk said he wanted to be "rational and responsible" by meeting with him.