Hatch Signals Openness To Lame Duck Confirmation Of Garland

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March 16, 2016 12:30 p.m.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) once supported Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court Merrick Garland for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, but he is still opposed to moving forward with his nomination process in an election cycle.

He signaled Wednesday, however, that he was open to moving Garland’s nomination in a lame duck session after the election in November, presumably only if a Democrat wins the White House.

“I’d probably be open to resolving this in the lame duck,” Hatch said according to a tweet from a reporter closer to Hatch in the scrum.

“He is a good man, but he shouldn’t be brought up tin this toxic environment,” Hatch told reporters Wednesday. “I am tired of the Supreme Court being used as a battering ball back and forth on both sides. That is why I’d put it off till next year.”

Hatch said that while he once supported Garland “there is a difference between being on a circuit court and being on the Supreme Court.”

“I think highly of him, but I haven’t read his cases and all I can say is I think the same argument stands that we should not be doing this in this toxic environment,” Hatch told reporters on the hill Wednesday. “It demeans the Supreme Court. Man, I gave a speech yesterday, and it was interrupted by people sponsored by the White House yelling and screaming.”

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) also would not rule out potentially moving forward a nominee in the lame duck.

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