Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte has confirmed that she will have a meeting with Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland next Wednesday, but declared that still believes that the Senate shouldn’t hold a confirmation vote until after a new president is elected.
The New Hampshire senator stressed that people should be given a voice in the important nomination of the Supreme Court justice through their votes in election scheduled to be held in November this year.
Ayotte said in a written statement, “I will meet with the president’s nominee out of courtesy and respect, and I also plan to explain my view that the people should have a voice in this important nomination through their votes in November … the process should wait until the people have spoken in the election.”
Jon Kohan, a campaign manager for Ayotte, noted that Vice President Joe Biden said in 1992 that the Senate should delay confirming a Supreme Court nominee until after the election of the president.
The N.H. Democratic Party quickly issued a statement, calling Ayotte’s planned meeting “nothing.” The party’s Press Secretary Melissa Miller said Ayotte intends to block Garland’s nomination in a move that is wildly unpopular with N.H. voters.
Ayotte, who is facing a really tough re-election contest against N.H. Gov. Maggie Hassan, is the third Republican senator who has confirmed plans to meet with Garland. Arkansas Sen. John Boozman and Maine Sen. Susan Collins are scheduled to meet with Garland this week.