Now it is simply embarrassing. Are North Carolina’s Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis so fearful — and so rude — that they are afraid to be in the same room with Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland? No, they’re just going along with the GOP leadership in saying they don’t want Garland to have a hearing and a vote on his nomination.
It’s not unanimous among Republicans. Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk met with Garland, and several other Republicans say they’ll do the same. Garland is one of the most respected judges in the country, and as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia already has passed muster with the Senate, with the support of Republicans. Garland has more experience than any previous nominee for the high court.
And Garland’s record indicates thoughtful moderation, not liberal or conservative idealism.
But the Senate’s Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky pronounced following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia that no nominee of Pres ident Obama would be confirmed. Other senators should have risen in defense of the constitutional process and of the president’s right to nominate someone and the Senate’s duty to give the person a hearing. But no, Burr, who’s up for re-election, and Tillis are meekly going along with it.