Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said Wednesday he's agreed to meet with President Obama's Supreme Court pick, though he still thinks the seat should remain vacant until next year.
Republican senator to meet with Obama SCOTUS nominee
"President Obama’s team has asked if I would meet with Judge Merrick Garland, and I have agreed to do so out of courtesy and respect for both the president and the judge," Toomey said in a statement.
The Pennsylvania Republican added he still believes voters should help pick Justice Antonin Scalia's successor by selecting the next president, who would be able to fill the court seat.
"I believe that is the best approach for deciding whether to alter the balance of the Supreme Court. I plan on making that clear to Judge Garland when I meet with him," he said.
He has not said when he'll meet with Garland. The Senate is currently in the middle of a two-week recess.
Toomey is the latest in a small but growing number of Republicans who have said they, unlike Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellMcAuliffe: Clinton won't move TPP without changes Scalise says FCC chair should abandon set-top box plan Progressive group changes tone on Kaine MORE (R-Ky.), are willing to meet with Garland.
Republican Sens. Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteTim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense Clinton brings in the heavy hitters Kasich doesn't regret skipping convention MORE (N.H.), Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonSanders could be secret weapon for Dems The Trail 2016: The newrevolution begins Greens launch M ad buy in Wis. Senate race MORE (Wis.) and Rob PortmanRob PortmanDemocrats: We can win on guns The Trail 2016: One large crack in the glass ceiling Portman secures another union endorsement over Democratic challenger in Ohio MORE (Ohio) have each suggested they are open to meeting with the president's pick, if only to explain why they think the Senate shouldn't take up his nomination.
None of the three senators — who, like Toomey, face difficult paths to reelection — have suggested they believe the Senate should move forward with his nomination.
Republican senators, including Toomey, have been under an onslaught of pressure from Democrats and outside groups to reverse their position.
Of the handful of GOP incumbents likely to decide who will control the Senate next year, only Sen. Mark KirkMark KirkTim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense NBA pulls All-Star Game from NC over bathroom law GOP groups scale back support for Sen. Johnson MORE (R-Ill.) has split with his party and backed giving Garland a hearing and a vote.