The leaders of the conservative legal groups that will lead the charge against the Senate consideration of Merrick Garland downplayed early hints Wednesday that Senate Republicans might be giving ground in their absolute opposition to anyone President Obama would have nominated.
Soon after President Obama's announced that Garland was his Supreme Court nominee to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a smattering of Senate Republicans expressed publicly a willingness to meet with him, and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) suggested an openness to confirming Garland in a lame duck session after the November election if a Democrat wins the White House.
Did those shifting political dynamics with the nomination of a 63-year-old, well-regarded moderate worry outside conservative groups?
"Senators hold all sorts of meetings with all sorts of people," Ed Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, said on a press call Wednesday afternoon. "I don't think that the fact that some senators are willing to meet with Merrick Garland means anything. The key is for the senators to hold the line on no hearing or no floor vote."
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