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Wed May 18, 2016, 04:14 PM

Mock hearing for Merrick Garland yields disappointing Republican response

Source: The Guardian

Mock hearing for Merrick Garland yields disappointing Republican response

No Senate Republicans attended and majority leader Mitch McConnell
dismissed the ‘pretend hearing’ for the president’s nominee for the supreme

David Smith in Washington
Wednesday 18 May 2016 21.28 BST

It was the day Senate Republicans were “empty-chaired” eight times over.

A mock confirmation hearing for Merrick Garland, the president’s nominee for the supreme court, had a lopsided appearance as eight Senate Democrats took their places but not one of their political opponents showed up.

But if the hour-long stunt was aimed at embarrassing Republicans into finally holding a real hearing for Garland, who has been in limbo for 63 days, that party’s response suggests they are likely to be disappointed.

Democrat Patrick Leahy, ranking member of the Senate judiciary committee, chaired the meeting in a packed room on Capitol Hill and called on four witnesses to testify about Garland and the consequences of not filling the supreme court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February. Garland himself was not present.

Former judge Timothy Lewis, who was appointed to the US court of appeals for the third circuit by President George H W Bush, testified that his confirmation in October 1992 by a Democratically-controlled Senate made him “living proof” that a Senate controlled by one party can confirm an opposing party’s nominee to an appellate court in a presidential election year.

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Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/18/mock-confirmation-hearing-merrick-garland-senate-supreme-court

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