This post will be updated.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called on Senate Republicans to hold a prompt confirmation vote on President Barack Obama’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. He’s the chief judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Garland’s “qualifications are impeccable” in a statement shortly after Obama and Garland spoke in the Rose Garden on Wednesday morning.
Senate Republicans, who hold 54 seats, have threatened to refuse to hold hearings on Garland, who would succeed conservative icon Antonin Scalia if confirmed to the high court.
“There is more than enough time for senators to publicly and thoroughly examine Chief Judge Garland’s qualifications and vote on his confirmation before Memorial Day,” Leahy said. “For more than 40 years, the Senate has held a confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominees on average 70 days after their formal nomination. The Senate should afford Chief Judge Garland the same process with a fair and public hearing in April, and the full Senate should vote on his confirmation by May 25.”
Leahy said he would meet soon with Garland, 63, who served as a federal prosecutor in the Oklahoma City bombing and the Unabomber cases.
“Chief Judge Garland is undeniably fair-minded and independent, and it is no wonder that he has received praise from across the political spectrum,” Leahy said. “He should be confirmed without controversy.”