February 27, 2017

Udall has an idea to get Garland confirmed to SCOTUS

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Congresswoman Donna Edwards and Sen. Tom Udall.Photo Credit: Talk Radio News Service cc

Sen. Tom Udall has a plan to get Merrick Garland confirmed to the Supreme Court—a trade, of sorts, in which the Senate confirms Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch and Garland at the same time.

Garland, who was nominated by President Barack Obama after the death of Antonin Scalia, never had a confirmation hearing, let alone a vote. Scalia died over a year ago, but the Republican majority in the Senate said they would not confirm a nominee by Obama in his final year of his presidency.

Udall made the unusual announcement after a meeting with Gorsuch Monday, according to Politico.

“You had President Trump saying, ‘I want to unite the country, I’m a deal-maker, I’m going to bring people together,’” Udall told reporters following his meeting with Gorsuch on Monday. “Well, the deal right now for President Trump, if he wanted to do it, would be to put Gorsuch and Merrick Garland on the court at the same time.”

This is how Udall described it: Trump would discuss the option with one of the three Supreme Court justices often mentioned as retirement prospects in the coming years – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer or Anthony Kennedy – and secure a resignation letter from one of them, contingent on Garland getting nominated and confirmed as their replacement.

As many Aaron-Sorkin-obsessives on Twitter noted, and the Politico story itself, Udall’s plan is similar to the plot of a season five episode of “The West Wing.”

A spokeswoman for Udall told Politico the idea did not come from that show.

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