Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Wednesday said Senate Republicans should grant a hearing to a Supreme Court nominee from President Obama.
Gonzales, who worked for President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007, said Republicans could hurt their party be refusing to hold a hearing if voters conclude the GOP is not being fair to the nominee.
“Instead of refusing to act, I urge Senate Republicans, when prepared, to provide a hearing and floor vote,” Gonzales said in an op-ed published by USA Today. “The president has done his job, and when the Senate is prepared, members should do theirs."
Gonzales praised Merrick Garland, whom Obama nominated to the high court on Wednesday.
He said Garland, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, has the education and experience for the job and can handle the scrutiny that comes with the confirmation process.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellTop Armed Services Dem lobbies against 9/11 bill McConnell threatens shutdown to keep corporate political spending secret This week: Shutdown deadline looms over Congress MORE (R-Ky.) says the Senate will not hold a hearing on Garland.
Gonzales was a controversial figure during his own tenure as attorney general. Democrats complained about his involvement in the firings of several U.S. attorneys and argued he had politicized the Justice Department.
He resigned in August 2007.