GOP Sen.: Refusal To Meet With SCOTUS Nominee Is ‘Close-Minded’

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) met with President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, Tuesday on Capitol Hill, where he told reporters that he would consider voting for Garland’s confirmation.

“We need open-minded, rational, responsible people to keep an open mind to make sure the (confirmation) process works,” he told reporters, according to Reuters.

“I think when you just say, ‘I’m not going to meet with him at all’ – that’s too closed-minded,” Kirk added when asked whether Republican senators were irrational or close-minded not to meet with Garland, according to Reuters.

Kirk, the first Republican senator to meet with Garland, said it was “leading by example” by sitting down with Garland himself, according to the Washington Post. Other Republican senators also have said they are willing to sit down with Obama’s nominee.

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“I’m showing what a rational, responsible guy would do who really wants the constitutional process to go forward,” Kirk said, according to the Post.

Kirk also told reporters that he would consider voting for Garland. He previously told colleagues to man up and cast a vote” on the Supreme Court nominee, the only Republican senator so far to do so.

The Illinois senator said that Garland’s nomination “shouldn’t be just for nothing.”

“We should have a long discussion about key issues before the court with one of the most eminent jurists in the country,” he said before praising Garland’s “very precise and brilliant” mind.

Following the meeting, Kirk indicated that sitting down with the nominee is part of the Senate doing its job.

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