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 McConnellDems gain upper hand on budget Overnight Finance: Senate rejects funding bill as shutdown looms | Labor Dept. to probe Wells Fargo | Fed to ease stress test rules for small banks Overnight Energy: Judges scrutinize Obama climate rule MORE (R-Ky.), are willing to meet with Garland.
Republican Sens. Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteDems gain upper hand on budget GOP senators hit FBI on early probe of NY bombing suspect Senate rivals gear up for debates MORE (N.H.), Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonDem groups invest big in Bayh in Ind. Senate race DHS head: 750 immigrants granted accidental citizenship Johnson links Dem opponent to Clinton email scandal MORE (Wis.) and Rob PortmanRob PortmanDems kill more ads in Ohio Senate rivals gear up for debates Funding bill includes million for opioid crisis 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 KirkSenate rivals gear up for debates The Trail 2016: Trump seizes on Charlotte violence Iran president hints at future prisoner swaps, cash settlements with US MORE (R-Ill.) has split with his party and backed giving Garland a hearing and a vote.
Sen. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsSwing-state Republicans play up efforts for gun control laws Reid knocks GOP on gun 'terror loophole' after attacks GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase MORE (R-Maine), who is not up for reelection, has also said Garland should get a hearing.