Rather than hold hearings on Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, Senate Republicans have instead said that the seat should be held open for a potential President Trump to fill.
Trump, who has pledged to outsource the role of appointing justices to right-wing groups like the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, said that he will only nominate those who will “unpass” the abortion rights ruling Roe v. Wade and oppose Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark marriage equality decision.
According to a new Public Policy Polling survey of swing states that also have close U.S. Senate races, the GOP’s maneuver appears to be a bust, as voters don’t trust Trump, who doesn’t seem to understand how the judicial system works, to fill the vacancy.
The poll, conducted in Arizona, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where Republican incumbents are facing tight re-election races, found wide support for the Senate to move on Garland’s nomination:
Because voters trust President Obama to make a Supreme Court choice and don’t trust Trump to, there’s overwhelming support for the Senate to move forward with confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. More than 60% of voters in each of these states supports hearings for Garland, by margins ranging from 38 to 46 points. That includes overwhelming support from critical independent voters, and even plurality support from Republicans in 4 of the 6 states
In Iowa, home of Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a clear majority — 64 percent — of voters want the Senate to hold hearings on Garland’s nomination, as do a plurality of Republicans.
Voters across the board “say that they’re less likely to vote for [Republican incumbents] because of their opposition to hearings for Merrick Garland.”
Rather than act to fill the vacancy on the court, it appears that Republicans would rather take their unprecedented obstructionism to the next level.