Shaheen, Ayotte Remain Divided On President's Supreme Court Nominee

Mar 16, 2016

Credit Mark Fischer via Flickr CC / www.flickr.com/photos/fischerfotos

New Hampshire's US Senators are split on what the Senate should do now that President Obama has chosen Merrick Garland as his nominee to the US Supreme Court. 

Update 1:31 pm: Sen. Ayotte's communications director, Liz Johnson, says in a statement that Ayotte is open to a meeting with Judge Garland. "The nominee is an appeals court judge and out of courtesy and respect Senator Ayotte would be willing to meet with him," Johnson said, "but she continues to believe that the American people should have a voice in the direction of the Court based on who they elect in November.” 

A statement from Republican Kelly Ayotte did not mention Garland, who serves as Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, in DC, by name.

But she said the Senate should not act on the nomination until after the presidential election.

"Empowered with a lifetime appointment, the next Supreme Court justice will likely have a significant impact on the court and the people of our country for years," Ayotte said. "I believe the American people deserve to have a voice in the direction of the court."

Ayotte previously said she would not meet with whomever President Obama nominated to the high court.

Meanwhile, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen said the president had "fulfilled his constitutional responsibility" with the nomination and called on the Senate to begin the confirmation process.

"Every Senator swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution and that oath applies to election years and nonelection years alike," Shaheen said. "Without question, the American people expect us to do our jobs."