WASHINGTON, April 12 (Reuters) - Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's U.S. Supreme Court selection, failed to persuade Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley during a private meeting on Tuesday to hold confirmation hearings on his nomination.
"As he indicated last week, Grassley explained why the Senate won't be moving forward during this hyper-partisan election year," Grassley's office said in a statement that described the meeting as "cordial and pleasant."
The two men met for 70 minutes in the Senate dining room. The Iowa Republican two decades ago also sought to block Garland's nomination to the federal appeals court on which he currently serves as chief judge.
Twitter's reaction to Garland's nomination:
Twitter reaction to Merrick Garland's nomination
US Senate Judiciary chairman Grassley tells Garland no hearings
This has never been about who the nominee is. It is about a basic principle. https://t.co/dGwHUBuLZw https://t.co/Z6nLdcuHWL
I commend @POTUS on his nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland as an associate justice on the Supreme Court. https://t.co/orbFiOZ7oL
Statement on President Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court: https://t.co/GTcLMLyS6I
Lame duck POTUS is doing us a disservice w/ attempt to tip balance of #SCOTUS in the 11th hr https://t.co/C4BhigPfES https://t.co/QDWz6o1ql4
.@SenateMajLdr McConnell comments on Supreme Court nomination is here: https://t.co/LvNozLmMQf
The American people are perfectly capable of having their say on the #SCOTUSnominee. So let’s give them a voice. https://t.co/8KyGZTuqoo
Merrick Garland is an outstanding choice for SCOTUS. A protector of civil rights and individual liberties. He MUST get a vote. #Doyourjob!
Judge Garland is fair-minded & independent, a consensus #SCOTUS nom who should be confirmed without controversy https://t.co/NjqMNmtBgk
.@POTUS has fulfilled his constitutional duty–now Senate Republicans must fulfill theirs #DoYourJob https://t.co/YOJIzyl37F
I will not vote for this nominee to the Supreme Court. (3/3)
"Today, I am nominating Chief Judge Merrick Brian Garland to join the Supreme Court." —@POTUS #SCOTUSnominee https://t.co/ak7vqV9sCM
Obama introduces Merrick Garland to Americans: He was born and raised in the Land of Lincoln https://t.co/OdbwLwokxG https://t.co/cpoisYPr2z
"He led the investigation and supervised the prosecution that brought Timothy McVeigh to justice." —@POTUS on Merrick Garland #SCOTUSnominee
"Merrick Garland would take no chances that someone who murdered innocent Americans might go free on a technicality." —@POTUS #SCOTUSnominee
Now, @POTUS has done his job — it's time for Senate GOP to do theirs. We must give Judge Garland the hearings & consideration he deserves.
.@scotusnom Merrick Garland is a thoughtful jurist with impeccable credentials; if he can't get bipartisan support no one can. #DoYourJob
There's never been a #SCOTUSnominee w/ more fed. judicial experience than @SCOTUSnom Judge Garland. #DoYourJob Senate & give him a hearing.
Congratulations to #SCOTUSnominee Merrick Garland, HLS class of 1977 https://t.co/cpm9i82i8Q
Now, all one hundred members of the Senate must do our jobs by providing advice and consent on the President’s #SCOTUSnominee
I will oppose any hearing or votes for President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court.
Leaders must listen to the voices of our people before allowing ambition and partisan politics to consume our democracy. #DoYourJob #SCOTUS
As I have said before, the Senate should not confirm a new Supreme Court justice until a new president is elected.
Hatch this morning: "It's not about the individual. It's about protecting the integrity of the Court." #SCOTUS https://t.co/yRcj1Kemd8
Judge Merrick Garland deserves a full and fair hearing and a clear, speedy, public vote from the U.S. Senate.
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Garland later met privately with Lisa Murkowski, one of the dwindling number of moderate Senate Republicans. Her office issued a statement that also seemed to close the door on confirming Garland.
Garland was nominated by Obama, a Democrat, on March 16 to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the Feb. 13 death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.
Republicans who control the Senate are refusing to advance the nomination, prompting Democrats to accuse them of obstructionism and of ignoring their constitutional obligations.
Republicans insist that the next president, to be elected on Nov. 8 and take office Jan. 20, fill the vacancy, hoping a Republican will win the White House and choose a conservative rather than the centrist Garland.
Democrats applauded those Republicans willing to meet with Garland but said public hearings are essential.
"Dark-money groups (conservative contributors) are trying to do the Republicans' dirty work and sully Judge Garland's name while Republican senators prevent Judge Garland from explaining his views to the public," New York Senator Chuck Schumer told reporters. "That is cowardly, it's backward and it is wrong."
The White House released a letter written by 15 former presidents of the American Bar Association to Senate leaders urging a timely hearing and a vote on Garland's confirmation.
"The stated refusal to fill the ninth seat of the Supreme Court injects a degree of politics into the judicial branch that materially hampers the effective operation of our nation's highest court and the lower courts over which it presides," the former ABA leaders stated.
The conservative Tea Party Patriots and Judicial Crisis Network praised Grassley for holding firm against hearings.
In a Reuters-Ipsos poll that included 900 registered Democrats and 788 registered Republicans conducted April 5-12, 55 percent said the Senate should hold confirmation hearings.
The respondents were split along party lines, with 61 percent of Democrats supporting Garland's confirmation compared to 22 percent of Republicans.
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US Senate Judiciary chairman Grassley tells Garland no hearings
An estimated 5,000 people, women and men, march around the Minnesota Capitol building protesting the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, ruling against state laws that criminalize abortion, in St. Paul, Minn., Jan. 22, 1973. The marchers formed a "ring of life" around the building. (AP Photo)
1966: Since 1966 police have to advise a suspect that they have the right to remain silent and the right to counsel during interrogation. The so called 'Miranda Warning' after Ernesto Miranda who had a retrial because he was not so advised. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)
Clarence Earl Gideon, 52-year-old mechanic who changed the course of legal history, is seen shortly after his release from prison on August 6, 1963 in Panama City, Florida. In 1961, Gideon was wrongly charged with burglary and sentenced to five years in prison. Gideon filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that his constitutional right to liberty was denied when Florida refused him an attorney. In a landmark decision later known as Gideon v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court ruled in his favor, stating that anyone accused of a crime should be guaranteed the right to an attorney, whether or not he or she could afford one. (AP Photo)
Linda Brown Smith, 9, is shown in this 1952 photo. Smith was a 3rd grader when her father started a class-action suit in 1951 of the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kan., which led to the U.S. Supreme Court's 1954 landmark decision against school segregation. (AP Photo)
African American students at a segregated school following the supreme court case Plessy vs Ferguson established Separate But Equal, 1896. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)
Dollree Mapp, 12, who was involved in a Landmark U.S. Supreme court decision concerning illegal search and seizure in 1931, is escorted into 105th precinct in New York by CET. John Bergersen. She was arrested in her apartment in Queens, New York City on February 18, where police said they recovered drugs valued at $800,000. A man, Allen Lyins, 33, was also taken into custody. The landmark decision, Mapp V. Ohio, found for Mrs. Mapp on grounds that police had forcibly searched her apartment in 1961 with out search warrant. (AP Photo)
President Nixon tells a White House news conference, March 15, 1973, that he will not allow his legal counsel, John Dean, to testify on Capitol Hill in the Watergate investigation and challenged the Senate to test him in the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi)
Supporters of the U.S. Supreme Courts ruling on same-sex marriage gather on the step of the Texas Capitol for a news conference celebrating marriage equality and looking to important work ahead, Monday, June 29, 2015, in Austin, Texas. The Supreme Court declared Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Some of the parents who brought suit against public schoolroom prayer in the Herricks School District pose with some of their children at Roslyn Heights, a Long Island suburb of New York City, after the Supreme Court said the prayer was unconstitutional on June 26, 1962. The group was sparked by Lawrence Roth, right foreground. Parents are, at center, left to right, Thelma Engel, Ruth Liechtenstein and the Roths. Children are, left to right, rear: Michael Engel, 11; Dan Roth, 17; Judy Liechtenstein, 19; and Joe Roth, 14. Front: Jonathan Engel, 4, and Madeleine Engel, 7. (AP Photo)