US Senate Judiciary chairman Grassley tells Garland no hearings

Senate Judiciary Signals No SCOTUS for Garland

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.

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"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
See Gallery
US Senate Judiciary chairman Grassley tells Garland no hearings
This has never been about who the nominee is. It is about a basic principle.
I commend @POTUS on his nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland as an associate justice on the Supreme Court.
Statement on President Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court:
Lame duck POTUS is doing us a disservice w/ attempt to tip balance of #SCOTUS in the 11th hr
.@SenateMajLdr McConnell comments on Supreme Court nomination is here: #SCOTUSnominee
The American people are perfectly capable of having their say on the #SCOTUSnominee. So let’s give them a voice.
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
.@POTUS has fulfilled his constitutional duty–now Senate Republicans must fulfill theirs #DoYourJob
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
Obama introduces Merrick Garland to Americans: He was born and raised in the Land of Lincoln
"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
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
Judge Merrick Garland deserves a full and fair hearing and a clear, speedy, public vote from the U.S. Senate.

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.

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"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.

RELATE: Landmark Supreme Court cases:

Supreme Court landmark cases
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US Senate Judiciary chairman Grassley tells Garland no hearings
Demonstrators carrying giant keep abortion legal buttons & ...protect Roe vs. Wade sign during huge pro-choice march. (Photo by Cynthia Johnson/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
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)
1963: Petitiion by Clarence Earl Gideon to the Chief Justice of the United States against a sentence imposed by a Florida court because he had not had legal representation. This resulted in the 5th Amendment whereby any individual accused of a crime is guaranteed 'due processes of law'. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)
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)
(Original Caption) This sketch shows White House Watergate Attorney James St. Claire arguing before the Supreme Court over whether President Nixon could assert executive privilege in withholding evidence demanded by Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworksi in the Watergate cover-up trial. The Justices are (L to R), Chief Justice Warren Burger; William Brennan; Byron White; Henry Blackmun; and at right is the chair normally occupied by William Rehnquist, who withdrew from this case.
Supporters of gay marriage wave the rainbow flag after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry at the Supreme Court in Washington June 26, 2015. The court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution's guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. With the ruling, gay marriage will become legal in all 50 states. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
(Original Caption) Schenectady, New York: Despite a ruling from Education Commissioner Ewald B. Nyquist that prayer meetings in school are 'constitutionally impermissible,' several Mohonasen High School pupils continue to hold 10 minute prayer session at the school. The school board gave permission for the meetings even though the 1963 U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled out prayer in public schools. Comm. Nyquist's ruling upset the school board's permission for the meetings, but the students, who pointed out that Congress and the state legislature open with prayers, decided to keep up the practice.

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