Sen. Tester Says SCOTUS Nominee Deserves Hearing

Montana Public Radio


Sen. Jon Tester today met with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Tester says he felt both impressed and aggravated after their meeting.

Sen. Tester says he only had a brief sit-down session with Judge Garland on Thursday.

“I will tell you there is one thing I know about Merrick Garland after our meeting; he’s a decent man. He deserves to have a hearing. He deserves to be further vetted so that we can make a decision on whether he’s the right man for the Supreme Court.”

President Barack Obama nominated Garland in March after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. Conservative Republicans, such as Montana Sen. Steve Daines, vow to oppose any of Obama’s nominees.

“The U.S. Senate should exercise its constitutional powers by not confirming a new Supreme Court Justice until the American people elect a new president and have their voices heard. I will oppose any hearing or votes for President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court.”

Sen. Tester, a Democrat, says he hasn’t yet made up his mind about Garland’s nomination, but describes the Republicans tactics as ‘dangerous’ and ‘unprecedented.’

“This is a new standard; not to hold a hearing and not to hold a vote on this guy … it is political, but the fact is, we still need to do our job as the Constitution says, and as many who embrace the Constitution when it’s convenient to, and then ignore it when they don’t like it.”

Since 1990, six Justices have been confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court in a presidential election year.