Politics: Biden open to renominating Merrick Garland - - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsBiden open to renominating Merrick Garland

22:55  05 july  2019
22:55  05 july  2019 Source:   politico.com

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Biden open to renominating Merrick Garland© Alex Wong/Getty Images President Barack Obama first nominated Merrick Garland in 2016 to fill the Supreme Court vacancy Justice Antonin Scalia's death created.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said he would be open to renominating the now 66-year-old Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, something he and President Barack Obama couldn't do in 2016.

In an interview with Iowa Starting Line on Friday, the Democratic presidential hopeful called Garland a "first-rate person."

Obama first nominated Garland in 2016 to fill the vacancy Justice Antonin Scalia's death created. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the Senate would not consider an appointment until after the presidential election took place. Upon taking office, President Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the seat.

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“I think we should have been a whole heck of a lot harder on [Mitch McConnell],” Biden told Starting Line of the 2016 effort. Biden said when he would ask Republicans why they were blocking the nomination, they would respond, "I’m in a red state, if I go ahead and just call for a hearing, the Koch Brothers will drop five, 10 million dollars on my race."

Biden said he would not try to pack the court as president, but added that reforming campaign finance laws to allow for public financing could reduce partisan gridlock during judicial nominations.

Garland serves as chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and he has been regarded as a moderate. Still, critics say it would not be strategic to nominate the judge a second time, due to his older age. On the other hand, Trump has been pushing for young judges who can serve for decades.

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