Senator Pat Toomey was adamant from the start that he wouldn’t consider any Supreme Court nominee put forward by President Obama.
The reasoning was that the next President should get to fulfill the vacancy.
“It might be just as well not to have a hearing that would, sort of, might mislead the American people into thinking that this is just about the qualifications of the candidate, because it’s bigger than that,” the Senator told Levy.
As a result, it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that Sen. Toomey rejected President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland today.
“With the U.S. Supreme Court’s balance at stake, and with the presidential election fewer than eight months away, it is wise to give the American people a more direct voice in the selection and confirmation of the next justice. Should Merrick Garland be nominated again by the next president, I would be happy to carefully consider his nomination, as I have done with dozens of judges submitted by President Obama.”
Democrats have already indicated that they’ll be focusing on Toomey throughout the year so expect this to be a major campaign issue in 2016.
UPDATE: Steve Kelly of the Toomey campaign sent the following response to PoliticsPA:
“Joe Sestak and Katie McGinty have made it clear that they would be a rubber stamp for any Obama nominee that would move the balance of the Supreme Court to the liberal side. That’s irresponsible. Pat Toomey wants voters to have a say in just a few months.”