WASHINGTON While most of political Washington is trying to work through a transition to a Donald Trump administration, Sen. Jeff Merkley accused Senate Republicans of stealing a Supreme Court appointment from President Barack Obama.
Merkley, D-Ore., told CNN’s “New Day” Friday that the Supreme Court vacancy caused by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February “rightly belongs in the hands of President Obama.”
“What the majority in the Senate has done is to basically steal that from one presidency and try to deliver it to another, which is going to greatly and profoundly affect the legitimacy of the Supreme Court,” Merkley said. “And that’s doing major damage to an essential institution in our country.”
Obama nominated federal Judge Merrick Garland in March, but Senate Republican leaders have refused to move the nomination forward, arguing that the court vacancy should be filled by the next president.
“I’m hoping that people will recognize what damage is being done,” Merkley said. “There’s still time to . . . hold a vote on Merrick Garland and save the institution.”