U.S. Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska is not joining several of his Republican colleagues in meeting with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.
Sasse is sticking with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who says Garland will not get a confirmation hearing or vote.
“The president’s nominee to the Supreme Court is, obviously, dead on arrival,” Sasse told reporters after a speech in Lincoln. “There are two constitutional responsibilities when there’s a Supreme Court vacancy. The president has the right to nominate someone, and the Senate has the right and the responsibility to advise and provide consent, and I think, pretty obviously, this nominee is not going to be confirmed.”
So far, three Republican senators have met or will meet with Garland, while others have expressed a willingness to do so.
Sasse says this should be a learning opportunity.
“I think we should step back from the particular nominee and recognize that anytime there’s a vacancy on the Supreme Court, there’s a great opportunity for all of us to educate our kids and the next generation, and remind ourselves of what the purpose of the Supreme Court is,” Sasse said.
Bold Nebraska is collecting signatures to encourage Sasse and fellow Republican Senator Deb Fischer to not block hearings and vote yes or no on Garland’s nomination.
When asked if the Senate is abdicating its responsibility by letting the Supreme Court seat to be vacant for a year or more, Sasse repeated himself.
“There are two constitutional responsibilities whenever there is a vacancy on the Court,” he said. “The president can nominate and the Senate has the right and the responsibility to advise and provide consent, and in this case, the nominee is clearly not going to be confirmed.”
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:38]