Republican Senator Says Colleagues Should ‘Man Up’ And Vote On Merrick Garland

SOURCEThink Progress

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), one of just two Senate Republicans who have indicated an openness to even having a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, had a message for his GOP colleagues on Friday: give Garland a vote.

“We should go through the process the Constitution has already laid out. The president has already laid out a nominee who is from Chicagoland and for me, I’m open to see him, to talk to him, and ask him his views on the Constitution,” Kirk explained in a radio interview on WLS-AM’s Big John Howell Show.

Noting that his own constitutional views are “a lot like Justice Scalia, who he’d be replacing,” Kirk urged colleagues to “just man up and cast a vote. The tough thing about these senatorial jobs is you get ‘yes’ or ‘no’ votes. Your whole job is to either say ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ and explain why.”

Kirk expressed doubt that his GOP colleagues will actually allow hearings on Garland to take place, observing, “I think, given Mitch [McConnell’s] view, I don’t see his view changing too much.”

It was unclear whether the “man up” advice also applies to his female Republican colleagues Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has already called for hearings and for the Senate to follow “regular order.”


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Josh Israel is a senior investigative reporter for at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Previously, he was a reporter and oversaw money-in-politics reporting at the Center for Public Integrity, was chief researcher for Nick Kotz’s acclaimed 2005 book Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Laws that Changed America, and was president of the Virginia Partisans Gay & Lesbian Democratic Club. A New England-native, Josh received a B.A. in politics from Brandeis University and graduated from the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia, in 2004. He has appeared on CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox News, Current TV, and many radio shows across the country.