Dems aim to keep focus on SCOTUS fight
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Democrats are trying to keep a battle over the Supreme Court in the spotlight as senators head back to their home states.

Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland met with Democrats in Washington this week while the Senate was on a two-week recess. The move gives senators fresh opportunities to press Republican leadership to cave and give the president's pick a hearing and a vote. 

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"I was impressed with Judge Garland’s knowledge of the law and his commitment to being fair-minded while finding common ground," Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw Julián Castro defends going on Fox: I'm focused on 'the people out there watching' MORE (D-Minn.) said in a statement Wednesday. "Now, it is time for the Senate to hold a public confirmation hearing followed by an up-or-down vote on Judge Garland’s nomination.”
 
Klobuchar met with Garland on Wednesday and held a photo op with the president's pick. 
  
 
 
 
A small but growing number of Senate Republicans say they are willing to meet with Garland. Most have said, however, that they still believe the Supreme Court seat should remain vacant. 
 
Senate Democratic aides highlighted a Politifact article Wednesday that rated McConnell's statement that Republicans are following a "longstanding transition of not filling vacancies on the Supreme Court in the middle of a presidential election year" as false. 
 
"Moving forward, there is no excuse for allowing Senator McConnell or any other Republican to repeat this 'longstanding tradition' claim without indicating to your readers or viewers that it is false," Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTrump weighs in on UFOs in Stephanopoulos interview Trump weighs in on UFOs in Stephanopoulos interview Impeachment will reelect Trump MORE's office said in a note to reporters. 
 
Democrats argue that momentum and public opinion are on their side. They point to a Monmouth University Poll released this week that found almost eight in 10 Americans believe Republicans are "playing politics" with the court. 
  
Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Judiciary Committee, also held a press conference in Connecticut on Wednesday outside of a U.S. District Court, where he called on Republicans to take up Garland's nomination. 
  
Republicans and outside groups, however, aren't staying quiet. 
 
Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award Medal of Freedom to economist Arthur Laffer Trump gambles in push for drug import proposal Biden's role in Anita Hill hearings defended by witness not allowed to testify MORE (R-Utah), a former chairman of the Judiciary Committee, hit back after protesters disrupted a lunch he was speaking at earlier this month. 
 
"The liberal left is seeking to bully the Republican-led Senate into ignoring its constitutional responsibilities and further destroying our nation's delicate system of checks and balances," he wrote in Bloomberg View. 
 
The Judicial Crisis Network also rolled out a new ad Wednesday making a case that Garland is not politically moderate.