Merkley Says GOP ‘Stole‘ Supreme Court Seat

By refusing to grant Judge Merrick Garland a hearing

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, left, said President-elect Donald Trump should appoint Judge Merrick Garland, right, to the Supreme Court. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Jeff Merkley on Thursday accused Republicans of “theft” of the Supreme Court for blocking President Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland.

Speaking on MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes,” the Oregon Democrat said the Supreme Court seat formerly occupied by the late Antonin Scalia “is being stolen.”

“It’s being stolen from the Obama administration and the construct of our Constitution,” Merkley said. “And it’s being delivered to an administration that has no right to fill it.”

Republicans have refused to grant a hearing for Garland, whom Obama nominated after Scalia’s death in February.

Merkley was asked if he would follow the same strategy Republican Sen. Richard M. Burr laid out that would keep the court with eight seats if Democrat Hillary Clinton had won the presidential election.

“The Trump administration, if they want to see partnership and cooperation, needs to put Merrick — if he puts forward a nominee, it should be Merrick Garland,” Merkley said.

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