Misgivings among many Republicans about Donald Trump being the party's nominee for president should convince GOP senators to give Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland a fair hearing, President Barack Obama told BuzzFeed News
When Obama nominated Garland in March following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Republicans said they would not even hold hearings on any nominee because, with the election so soon, it should be the next president that chooses a justice.
But now, Obama said, "Republicans are looking at a Republican nominee who many of them say isn't qualified to be president, much less appoint somebody. And it seems to me that they'd be better off going ahead and giving a hearing and a vote to somebody that they themselves in the past have said is well qualified."
Obama said that the work of the Supreme Court is too crucial to be left in limbo for such a long period and that citizens should be pressuring their senators to do their jobs and vote Garland, who he says has the respect of both liberals and conservatives.
The president added that it was not a good precedent to set for the smooth running of the country, because "let's say a Republican president in the future is trying to appoint somebody. Democrats are going to do the same thing, and it's going to be tit for tat and pretty soon we're going to have a situation where we can't fill our Supreme Court."
Taking another swipe at Trump, Obama said, "Our country's better off when the Democratic nominee for the presidency and the Republican nominee are both qualified to be president and can be effective because you never know what happens.
"I'm a Democrat, I prefer democratic policies. But I want a serious Republican Party and serious Republican nominees."
When asked about Republican governors who are ignoring the Department of Justice's guidance that transgender students should be permitted to use bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity, Obama said "it is part of our obligation as a society to make sure everybody is treated fairly, with dignity and to be protected," and that these young people should not be left at the mercy of bullying just because they are a minority."
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