Conservatives Wary of Trump Push for Obama Court Pick

They fear Clinton would appoint a more liberal justice
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2016 4:48 PM CDT
With Only Trump Left, Maybe Merrick Garland Isn't So Bad
Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama's choice to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

With Donald Trump the last GOP presidential candidate standing, some conservatives are starting to get nervous about the Supreme Court. "There is absolutely no reason to drag this out any longer," managing editor Leon Wolf writes at conservative blog RedState. "Garland is not a great choice, but he is not a terrible one, either." Wolf believes that, deep down, Republicans know Trump is going to lose, and Hillary Clinton would be likely to nominate someone younger and more liberal than Obama's choice, Merrick Garland. Wolf calls Garland a "gift that should not be squandered" and says, "If I were the Republicans, my main concern right now would be that Barack Obama would withdraw Garland's nomination today."

He might not be wrong to worry. The Huffington Post cites polling that shows Trump would lose 47% to 40% to Clinton in November while being the "least popular major party nominee in modern history." And a more liberal, Clinton-nominated justice would be a "tectonic shift of power on the court." But not everyone agrees. A former RedState editor says Senate Republicans confirming Garland would send a message to voters that they've given up hope, Politico reports. Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell still refuses to hear Garland's nomination. "Republicans continue to believe that the American people should have a voice in this decision and the next president should make the nomination," a McConnell spokesperson tells NBC News. (More Merrick Garland stories.)

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