Prominent Republican senators voted against judge Merrick Garland in a 1997 confirmation — a fact that casts further doubt over whether the GOP will allow President Obama's Supreme Court nominee a hearing.
The Senate confirmed Garland to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1997 by a vote of 76-23. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellOvernight Finance: Lawmakers scramble to avoid shutdown | Why some Republicans worry about Trump's tax plan | Trade tensions with Canada Hundreds of former EPA employees blast Trump on climate change Democrats must have a better response on net neutrality than simply 'no' MORE (R-Ky.) and current Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyComey to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee GOP to kill language exempting staff from new ObamaCare repeal bill House cyber chairman wants to bolster workforce MORE (R-Iowa) both voted against him.
A White House official confirmed to The Hill on Wednesday morning that Obama will nominate Garland to fill the vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia.
Republicans argued Wednesday that it would be relatively easy to oppose Garland, because McConnell and Grassley were on record against him nearly 20 years ago.
A senior GOP aide argued that Obama’s decision to pick the oldest judge on his short list shows that he doesn’t have much hope of getting the pick confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate.
Seven Republicans who voted to confirm Garland to the circuit court are still in the Senate: Dan CoatsDan CoatsSouth Korea missile defense online in ‘coming days’ Sanders on skipping WH Korea briefing: 'I did not want to be part of a photo op' Overnight Defense: Senators go to White House for North Korea briefing | Admiral takes 'hit' for aircraft carrier mixup | Lawmakers urged to beef up US missile defense MORE (Ind.), Thad CochranThad CochranMcConnell: Senate will pass short-term funding bill to avoid shutdown Lawmakers push one-week stopgap funding bill Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups MORE (Miss.), Susan CollinsSusan CollinsOvernight Energy: Lawmakers work toward deal on miners’ benefits Schumer: Senate Russia probe moving too slowly Collins: I'm not working with Freedom Caucus chairman on healthcare MORE (Maine), Orrin HatchOrrin HatchGinsburg pines for more collegial court confirmations Senate's No. 2 Republican: Border tax 'probably dead' Overnight Finance: Inside Trump's tax plan | White House mulls order pulling out of NAFTA | New fight over Dodd-Frank begins MORE (Utah), Jim InhofeJames InhofeTaiwan deserves to participate in United Nations Optimism rising for infrastructure deal Repeal of Obama drilling rule stalls in the Senate MORE (Okla.), John McCainJohn McCainMeghan McCain: Obama 'a dirty capitalist like the rest of us' Top commander: Don't bet on China reining in North Korea Trudeau, Trump speak for second night about US-Canada trade MORE (Ariz.) and Pat RobertsPat RobertsTrump tax plan prompts GOP fears about deficit Overnight Energy: Trump to sign orders on offshore drilling, national monuments Watchdog: EPA spending on water pollution campaign was legal MORE (Kan.).
Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiTrump’s Army pick faces tough confirmation fight Republican Sen. Collins considering run for Maine governor in 2018 Alaska senators push bill to allow Arctic drilling MORE’s (R-Alaska) father, former Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska), also voted for Garland.