Republican presidential candidate John Kasich said that he would consider nominating Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court if he were elected to the White House and said that the Senate should at least meet with the federal appeals court judge.
"I never thought the president should send it because I knew nothing was going to happen," Kasich told "Face the Nation" on CBS in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday. "Frankly, they probably ought to all sit down and meet with the guy."
Senate Republicans have refused to consider Garland's nomination, which President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday, though Illinois GOP Sen. Mark Kirk has called for a vote.
"My feeling is, at the end of the day, whoever gets elected president should be in a position to be able to pick who they want — and the American people will either decide by voting for a Republican or Democrat what the makeup of the court is," Kasich told CBS.
The Ohio governor noted Garland's past praise by conservatives.
"He received overwhelming support, I think even from Senator [Orrin] Hatch, so of course we'd think about it," Kasich said in response to a question on whether he'd nominate the judge.”
"The way we do it is that we look at a person's record," he continued.
But Hatch praised Garland in 1998.
Since then, Garland has established a record as a court liberal, siding with gun control advocates and abortion rights groups while calling for more government regulatory authority in key rulings. The New York Times suggests that if appointed, Garland would be “way to the left” of Justice Anthony Kennedy, considered a court moderate.
"We have a process. I've appointed over 100 judges in Ohio, including a woman that, fortunately, I was able to appoint to the Ohio Supreme Court," Kasich said. "And we've had good success with our selections."
Clarifying his comments later, Kasich tweeted that he would "give proper consideration to all legitimate SCOTUS candidates."
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