WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell told President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland by phone on Wednesday that Republicans will not act on his nomination or meet with him, a McConnell spokesman said.
“Rather than put Judge Garland through more unnecessary political routines orchestrated by the White House, the leader decided it would be more considerate of the nominee’s time to speak with him today by phone,” McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said in a statement.
McConnell told the appellate court judge that “since the Senate will not be acting on this nomination, he would not be holding a perfunctory meeting, but he wished Judge Garland well,” Stewart added.
The chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, also spoke with Garland by telephone on Wednesday but has not made a decision on whether to meet with him, a Grassley spokeswoman said.
Republican Grassley had not changed his position opposing a confirmation hearing or a vote on the Democratic president’s nominee in a presidential election year, the spokeswoman said.