BELLEVILLE - Senator Mark Kirk's re-election campaign could be undermined by the Republican Senate leadership's refusal to hold hearings for President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, the downstate Belleville News Democrat writes Tuesday.
Kirk has broken with GOP leadership and scheduled to meet with Garland Tuesday afternoon in D.C.
“Illinois voters demand that their elected officials offer independent and thoughtful leadership that puts the people of Illinois first all the time,” according to a statement from his campaign. Kirk said he “looks forward to meeting with Judge Merrick Garland and remains hopeful that there will be a fair and thorough hearing along with a complete and transparent release of all requested information.”
But Kirk has not said whether he intends to lobby Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, to hold hearings and a vote on Garland. McConnell so far has not budged from his initial declaration that the Senate Judiciary Committee won’t consider a Supreme Court nominee until after the next president take office in January.