COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A coalition of liberal groups staged rallies around the country on Monday targeting Republican senators who oppose confirmation hearings for President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.
More than 50 of the events — with the theme “Do Your Job!” — were scheduled Monday. Some 25 to 30 people turned out in Ohio, where Sen. Rob Portman has stood firm with other Republicans in arguing that the next president should fill the court vacancy after American voters weigh in this November.
Within hours of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death on Feb. 13, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said there will be no Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for any Obama nominee and no confirmation vote by the Senate. Obama announced last Wednesday that he had nominated Garland, a longtime appeals court judge who has had the support of Republicans in the past, but McConnell has not relented.
With the Senate on a two-week break, liberal groups focused on GOP offices back home and such senators as Portman; Iowa’s Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey.
The protesters offered to enroll the lawmakers in a community college civics course.
The gesture is inspired in part by late author Harper Lee, who offered in 1966 to enroll a school board in the first grade after the board sought to ban “To Kill A Mockingbird.”
Fram reported from Washington.
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