Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGOP senators warn against Trump firing intelligence community official This week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Senate panel clears controversial Trump court pick MORE (R-Maine) on Wednesday said it would be "ironic" if GOP resistance to confirming Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland ended with a more liberal justice instead.

“What I have thought a lot about is the irony that if a Democrat is elected president, I think the chances are that he or she would choose a nominee that would be to the left of Judge Garland,” she said on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press Daily." "That would certainly be ironic, if that ended up happening.”


“That might be the case that would lead to the lame-duck scenario,” Collins added of confirming Garland after the presidential election. "It is my understanding, however, that the Republican leader has ruled that option out. I don’t know how likely that is.”

Collins, who met with Garland Tuesday, said meetings with more Republicans could ultimately produce a confirmation hearing for the judge.

“I don’t think there will be hearings right off,” she said. "I’m hoping that as more of my colleagues sit down with Judge Garland, that they will conclude, as I’ve concluded, that he deserves a hearing. It’s very difficult to predict."

"But what I am certain of is before the recess two weeks ago, there were only two of us willing to meet with Judge Garland," she said. "Now there’s something like 14 Republican senators who are willing to sit down with him. I view that as an evolution. That is a good sign. To me, that is what would customarily be done.”

After her meeting with Garland, Collins said she is “more convinced than ever” he deserves a confirmation hearing. While approximately 17 Republican senators have voiced openness to meeting Garland, far fewer have said they would vote on his nomination.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care: Top health official defends contract payments to Trump allies | Vaping advocates confident Trump will turn from flavor ban | Sanders gets endorsement from nurses union McConnell, GOP leaders say they won't be watching House impeachment hearing Poll: 1 in 5 US adults report trouble affording prescription drugs MORE (R-Iowa) on Monday confirmed that he is soon meeting Garland for breakfast.

Grassley and most other GOP senators oppose Garland’s confirmation, arguing that America’s next president should pick a new Supreme Court justice rather than Obama.