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Politics & Government

Sen. Coons "impressed" by Obama choice for Supreme Court

Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s junior senator says he’s impressed by President Obama’s nomination of D.C. Federal Appeals Court Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the nation’s highest court.


Sen. Chris Coons (D-Delaware), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, attended the ceremony at the White House announcing Garland’s nomination.


“I was truly impressed by the judge’s comments, his decency, his balance, his life story, his background – all suggest a nominee eminently qualified to serve on the Supreme Court,” said Coons.


Merrick has served on the D.C. Circuit Court for 19 years – three of which as the head of that bench.


Coons says it’ll take him a few weeks to fully vet the nomination while the Senate breaks for Easter.


“I will, in Delaware, be spending time reading into his record, reading the case law, reading up on his biography and getting a deeper and better sense of him,” said Coons, who also plans to set up a meeting with Garland.


Garland faces stiff opposition from the Republican-controlled Senate, whose members have vowed to not even meet with a candidate nominated by Obama.


Democrats, including Coons and Delaware's senior Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware), have been urging the GOP to hold hearings and a vote a vote on a nominee, but to no avail.



Carper calls a Garland a "respected jurist" that the Senate previously approved to his current post with strong bipartisan support.


"Judge Garland has a reputation as a consensus builder—an important quality for any Supreme Court Justice, but it’s particularly important at a time when the Court and our country remains divided on too many issues," said Carper. "I look forward meeting Judge Garland in the coming weeks, and carefully reviewing his nomination."


Both Carper and Coons say the will push theur Republican colleagues to drop their staunch opposition to appointing anyone to the Supreme Court during the final year of Obama’s presidency – a stance Republican leaders renewed minutes after Garland's nomination was announced Wednesday.


The U.S. Supreme Court currently only has eight members after the death of Antonin Scalia last month, one of the most conservative members of the court.



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