Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused to hold what he called a “perfunctory meeting” with newly named Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland on Wednesday because the Senate won’t be considering him, according to a statement sent out by his office.
The senator instead reached out to Garland by phone.
“The Leader reiterated his position that the American people will have a voice in this vacancy and that the Senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the person the next President nominates,” McConnell’s office said in a statement. “Since the Senate will not be acting on this nomination, he would not be holding a perfunctory meeting, but he wished Judge Garland well.”
The Senate majority leader has led the call not to consider any Obama nominee to the Supreme Court, taking to the Senate floor shortly after Garland’s nomination to say there was no point in “endlessly debating” the issue.
In his statement, McConnell explained his refusal to meet with the judge in person by saying there was no point in subjecting him to “unnecessary political routines orchestrated by the White House.”
The President called on Republican senators to give Garland a “fair hearing” in his nomination announcement speech.