Democrats are making inching progress in their battle to win confirmation for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.
Although Republican leaders still insist they won’t give a hearing to the respected Jewish jurist, the White House and Senate Democrats say their campaign to force a shift is starting to bear fruit.
Politico is reporting that Democrats believe they are edging forward in the fight to force the GOP to hold hearings on Garland — which would likely result in his approval.
“Because of the pressure, Republicans are beginning to change,” Schumer told reporters. “The level of progress we have made in just the past two weeks have exceeded our expectations a whole lot.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and committee chairman Chuck Grassley are still adamant that they will not agree to hold hearings on Garland’s nomination, claiming that whoever is elected in November should appoint the new justice to replace Antonin Scalia on the highest court.
But several Republican senators have agreed to meet with Garland, who has a sterling reputation as a brilliant and moderate appeals court judge.
And other Republicans who are standing firm are facing increased pressure from constituents as polls show a large majority of voters want Garland to get a hearing.
Sen. Pat Toomey, a conservative Republican who faces a tricky reelection fight in blue Pennsylvania, has seen his unfavorability ratings soar amid the Garland controversy.
Even in Iowa, where Grassley has won reelection six times, the #DoYourJob campaign has gotten under the veteran lawmaker’s skin.
“When somebody says I’m not doing my job, I kind of resent it,” the Senate Judiciary chairman angrily told a voter at a town hall meeting, Politico reported. “I think I do my job.”