Kirk Supports Vote on Obama’s Court Pick

The Illinois senator touted Garland's Chicago roots

Kirk says Garland deserves a hearing. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
Kirk says Garland deserves a hearing. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
Posted March 18, 2016 at 3:35pm

Mark S. Kirk broke ranks with fellow Republican senators when he said the chamber should vote on President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland.  

In an interview with Chicago’s WLS radio station on Friday, the Illinois lawmaker said the Senate should “just man up and cast a vote.” Kirk is facing an uphill reelection battle against Democrat Rep. Tammy Duckworth.  

“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 said.  

Senate Republican say they don’t intend to have hearings or schedule a vote on Garland’s nomination, arguing that the next president should make the selection, not Obama since he’s leaving office in January.  

Kirk said he was curious to ask Garland if he believes the Constitution is a living document that can change.  

“My view is it is not,” Kirk said. “I have views a lot like (the late Justice Antonin Scalia), who he’d be replacing.”  

Previously, Kirk held back  his thoughts on a potential nomination from Obama, calling the political debate around a replacement “unseemly.”  

Duckworth won the Democratic primary on Tuesday, setting up a challenge against Kirk.  


Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone.