Meet The Republican Willing To Give Obama’s SCOTUS Nom A Chance

Days after he bucked Senate Republicans’ hard line on a potential Obama Supreme Court nominee, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) did it again Wednesday, saying he would be willing to meet with a possible nominee.

Kirk said he would take the chance to sit down with a nominee to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat from President Obama, even as other members of his party say they would not meet or hold a hearing for any nominee Obama puts forward before leaving office.

“I would welcome the chance to discuss my philosophy, what would be my state’s philosophy on the Supreme Court, to be an advocate for expanding personal freedom,” Kirk told The Hill.

Kirk’s latest remarks comes after the senator penned an op-ed on Monday calling for the Senate to consider an Obama nominee. Kirk, a moderate Republican, is one of this election cycle’s most vulnerable lawmakers up for re-election.

In the Chicago Sun-Times op-ed, he wrote: “The Senate’s role in providing advice and consent is as important and significant as the president’s role in proposing a nominee.”

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), who also faces a difficult 2016 re-election race, joined the Republican chorus on Wednesday and vowed not to meet with an Obama nominee.

Correction: The original version of this post contained a passage that incorrectly said Kirk had “toed Senate Republicans’ hard line” on a Scalia successor. We regret the error.

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