Graham to meet with Supreme Court nominee

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamBipartisan senators call on China to close all wet markets Bipartisan lawmakers call for global 'wet markets' ban amid coronavirus crisis Trump attacks WHO amid criticism of his coronavirus response MORE (R-S.C.) will sit down with President Obama's Supreme Court pick even though he believes the seat should remain vacant until next year.

Kevin Bishop, Graham's spokesman, confirmed that the South Carolina Republican will have a "courtesy meeting" with nominee Merrick Garland. It's unclear when the meeting will take place.


Graham is the third Republican on the Judiciary Committee to announce that he will sit down with Garland. Sens. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTwo Democrats roll out bill to protect inspectors general from politically motivated firing Trump's IG firings prompt questions of whether more are coming Senate 'unlikely' to return on April 20, top GOP senator says MORE (R-Iowa), the chairman of the committee, and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeMcSally campaign to suspend TV ads, canvassing amid pandemic Coronavirus isn't the only reason Congress should spend less time in DC Trump Jr. says he inherited 'Tourette's of the thumbs' from his father MORE (R-Ariz.) will meet with him next week. 

Seventeen GOP senators have said they are open to meeting with Garland and three have already sat down with him. In addition to Flake and Grassley, Sens. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteLobbying World On the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump GOP fears Trump backlash in suburbs MORE (N.H.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSenate 'unlikely' to return on April 20, top GOP senator says Phase-four virus relief hits a wall GOP senator to donate 2 months of salary in coronavirus fight MORE (Ohio) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiHouse Republicans threaten pushback on Saudi Arabia amid oil market slump Zoom, grocery delivery, self-isolation: How lawmakers are surviving coronavirus Lawmakers announce legislation to fund government purchases of oil MORE (Alaska) will also meet with him next week.

Bishop, however, said that Graham "remains opposed to moving forward with the Garland nomination. He continues to believe the next president should pick the next nominee for the Supreme Court." 

Graham had previously said he wouldn't meet with Garland, suggesting they wouldn't have anything to talk about. He also joined with every other Republican member on the committee to send a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Former Trump advisor Bossert says to test the well, not ill; Senate standoff on next relief bill McCarthy slams Democrats on funding for mail-in balloting Harris, Ocasio-Cortez among Democrats calling for recurring direct payments in fourth coronavirus bill MORE (R-Ky.) pledging that Garland won't get a hearing. 

Asked Tuesday if the Senate could take up Garland's nomination after the election, Graham said "absolutely not." 

"I'm sure he's a great guy, no doubt about that," he added. "[But] he's not going to get... confirmed so what's the purpose of a hearing?"

CNN first reported Graham's meeting