The Slatest

Garland Watch: Chuck Grassley Says the Public Doesn’t Even Want Hearings 

Merrick Garland.
Garland, seeking “tremendous solace.”

Saul Loeb/Getty Images

It’s been 79 days since Merrick Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court, and Senate Republicans continue to block that nomination from even receiving a hearing. Garland Watch is a regular look at the week in Garland news and Senate obstruction.

On Sunday, Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland addressed the graduating class of his alma mater, Niles West High School, in Skokie, Illinois. He told them:

When you are facing the unanticipated twists and turns life will surely take, when the bad things happen, it can be a tremendous solace to get outside yourself and focus on someone else.


Hopefully that is what Garland’s been doing, because it’s pretty clear that no one has been focusing on him. On Tuesday, the NYU Law Review published an article that attempted to find historical precedent for Senate Republicans’ blockade of Garland’s nomination. Finding none, the article states:


There have been 103 prior cases in which—like the case of President Obama’s nomination of Judge Garland—an elected President has faced an actual vacancy on the Supreme Court and began an appointment process prior to the election of a successor. In all 103 cases, the President was able to both nominate and appoint a replacement Justice, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

In an adept summary of the situation, the Huffington Post concluded that the actions of Senate Republicans could be labeled as nothing other than a “cynical and unconscionable sham.”

Leading this sham is Senator Chuck Grassley, who claimed earlier this week that public support for a Garland hearing was waning. The Senator qualified, however, that he couldn’t be completely sure of this trend because he tends to draw a larger share of Republicans than Democrats to town meetings in his home state of Iowa.

As you have probably already surmised: The Senate Judiciary Committee held no hearings this week.