First republican senator to meet with SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland

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Who Is Merrick Garland and Why Is He Obama's Supreme Court Nominee?

Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk broke against his party and is set to become the first Republican senator to meet with Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, on Tuesday, his office confirmed with MSNBC on Friday.

The announcement comes a week after Kirk took a shot at his Republican colleagues for refusing to hold a Senate hearing and vote on Garland. Obama tapped the 63-year-old chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to replace the late Antonin Scalia, who died in Texas last month.

Kirk's office said more details about the meeting will be released on Monday and that the senator wants to know where Garland stands. The meeting was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Related: GOP Leaders Double Down on Pledge to Block SCOTUS Pick

In an interview with Chicago's WLS-AM last week Friday, Kirk, who faces a tough re-election fight, called on Republicans to "man up and cast a vote" because "the president has already laid out a nominee."

See more photos of Merrick Garland:

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Obama appoints new Supreme Court justice Merrick Garland
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First republican senator to meet with SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland
Federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland, stands with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as he is introduced as Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court during an announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House, in Washington, Wednesday, March 16, 2016. Garland, 63, is the chief judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, a court whose influence over federal policy and national security matters has made it a proving ground for potential Supreme Court justices. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland, right, shakes hands with with President Barack Obama as Vice President Joe Biden looks on as he is introduced as Obamaâs nominee for the Supreme Court during an announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House, on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, in Washington. Garland, 63, is the chief judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, a court whose influence over federal policy and national security matters has made it a proving ground for potential Supreme Court justices. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland, right, stands with President Barack Obama as he is introduced as Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court during an announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House, in Washington, Wednesday, March 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland, right, stands with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as he is introduced as Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court during an announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House, in Washington, Wednesday, March 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, center, introduce Federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland, right, as Obamaâs nominee for the Supreme Court during an announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House, in Washington, Wednesday, March 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland, right, stands with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as he is introduced as Obamaâs nominee for the Supreme Court during an announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House, on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland, walks out with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as he is introduced as Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court during an announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House, in Washington, Wednesday, March 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
This photo provided by the U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit shows Chief Judge Merrick Garland in 2013, in Washington. (U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit via AP)
FILE - In this May 1, 2008 file photo, Judge Merrick B. Garland, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, is pictured before the start of a ceremony at the federal courthouse in Washington. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, the court's oldest member and leader of its liberal bloc, he is retiring. President Barack Obama now has his second high court opening to fill. The leading candidates to replace Stevens are Solicitor General Elena Kagan, 49, and federal appellate Judges Merrick Garland, 57, and Diane Wood, 59. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
Deputy U.S. Attorney Merrick Garland, left, looks on as interim U.S. Attorney Patrick Ryan answers questions during a news conference Thursday May 18, 1995, following a preliminary hearing in El Reno, Okla., for Terry Nichols. A magistrate ruled that there was enough evidence to hold Nichols in prison. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)
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"For me, I'm open to see him, talk to him and ask for his views on the Constitution. Your whole job is to either say yes or no and explain why," he said.

Just hours after Scalia's death, GOP lawmakers and presidential candidates pledged to block any move by Obama to nominate someone to succeed the conservative judge.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders have repeatedly said the next president should choose the next justice, and they will therefore not hold hearings to consider Garland's nomination. Democrats have rebuked their refusal.

A few GOP lawmakers have said they would at least meet with Garland, including Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who is also facing a tough re-election bid.

This article first appeared on MSNBC.com

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