Senate Republicans are not budging on the Garland nomination. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) repeated the Senate Judiciary Committee’s stance, which is that they’re not holding a hearing for Obama’s nominee.
Later this afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor to say that the Republican majority is going to observe the "Biden rule" in order to give the American people a voice in this “momentous decision.”
“American people may well elect a president who decided nominate Judge Garland for Senate consideration; the next president may decide to nominate someone very different,” McConnell said. “Give the people a voice in filling this vacancy,” he added.
He also reminded colleagues of the origins of the Biden rule, which has its origins with then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) on the issue of judicial nominations during election years:
Sen. McConnell said, “President Obama made this nomination not with the intent with seeing the nominee confirmed, but in order to politicize it for purposes of the election, which is the type of thing then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Biden was concerned about; the exact thing Chairman Biden was concerned about.”
“The Biden rule underlines that what the president has done with this nomination would be unfair to any nominee,” he added.
He urged his colleagues to continue working on issues where they have made progress, such as the economy and legislation to combat opioid addiction, and not on issues, like the Supreme Court, where they can’t agree.
He again reiterated that the American people should have a say in this process, and that the Senate will look over the qualifications and merits of the nominee from the next president, whoever that may be.
Earlier this morning, President Obama nominated Chief Judge of the D.C. Court of Appeals Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court.