Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the American people must have a voice in November on filling the Supreme Court vacancy.
In a speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday, the Kentucky Republican made it clear that the GOP-led Senate will not consider President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, but will wait until after the next president is in place.
McConnell said the view of the GOP is ‘‘give the people a voice in the filling of this vacancy.’’
Democrats and the White House are pressuring the GOP to act. Obama, in announcing his nominee, said Garland would be making the customary visit to Capitol Hill to meet with senators on Thursday. The Senate is planning a two-week break at the end of the week.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley also wasn’t swayed by Obama’s pick.
In a statement issued just after Garland spoke in the White House Rose Garden, Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said ‘‘a lifetime appointment that could dramatically impact individual freedoms and change the direction of the court for at least a generation is too important to get bogged down in politics.’’
He said this year is an opportunity for the country to have an honest debate about the role of the Supreme Court.