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AFL-CIO's Trumka Signals Uncertainty Over SCOTUS Nominee

Image: AFL-CIO's Trumka Signals Uncertainty Over SCOTUS Nominee

Trumka (Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor)

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Friday, 02 Sep 2016 10:45 AM Current | Bio | Archive

One of Hillary Clinton’s closest political allies, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, seemed to indicate Merrick Garland may not be the choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. 

This despite some Senate Republicans who lately have began to suggest they might break their party’s hold and move to hearings on President Obama’s nomination of D.C. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Garland. Garland had been tapped to replace Justice Antonin Scalia who died on Feb. 13.

On Thursday, at a breakfast in Washington hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, when  Trumka was asked whether a “President-elect Clinton” should renominate Garland if his nomination is not taken up by the Senate this year, he said he was “not willing to commit at this time to go forward on it.”

Trumka praised Garland as “a great judge,” but quickly voiced his view that the Republican-controlled Senate would not lift its hold and give him a hearing.

“I think he probably doesn’t come up [for hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee] because [Senate Republicans] are so far out on a limb,” he said, “And it created such a mess out of this and they set such a bad, bad precedent for the country that they probably can’t backtrack now.”

But would Trumka, who twice described Clinton to reporters as “someone I have known for 30 years,” ask her to renominate Garland if she wins the presidency in November?

“We’ll see at that time,” he replied, “I’m not willing to commit at this time to go forward on it. We’ll see.”

Pressed as to why he wouldn’t recommend she nominate the man he had called “a great judge,” the labor chieftain shot back: “Isn’t it better for me to have an option? What if there’s someone better [for the Supreme Court]? I think he’d make a great justice. If someone better comes along, we’ll support [that nominee].”

Referring to Senate Republicans, Trumka said: “When they know something’s not a certainty, they may vote on the guy in the lame duck session.”

Hillary Clinton has hailed Garland as a jurist with “a brilliant legal mind, and a long history of bipartisan support and admiration,” though she has not weighed in on the renomination.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

 

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One of Hillary Clinton’s closest political allies, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, seemed to indicate Merrick Garland may not be the choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.
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2016-45-02
Friday, 02 Sep 2016 10:45 AM
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