A name coming up often early in today’s hearing: Judge Merrick Garland.
Garland was then-President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Republicans, who have controlled the Senate since 2015, did not move forward with his nomination — arguing that the winner of the presidential election should be the one who picks the nominee.
Senate Republicans “let the American people choose,” Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.), the second-ranking Republican in the chamber, argued in his remarks.
Cornyn’s comments served as defense against Democratic criticism. All three Democrats who have spoken so far have mentioned Garland.
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) insisted that blocking Garland last year was a decision “never grounded in principle or precedent.”