Orrin Hatch called Merrick Garland “a consensus nominee” for the high court. That was before Obama picked him
Supreme Court ▶ Republicans figured the president wouldn’t pick Merrick Garland ▶ The court nominee is “essentially from central casting”
The last time President Obama had a high court seat to fill, in 2010, Republicans singled out Federal Appeals Court judge Merrick Garland as their preferred choice. Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, an influential GOP voice on judicial nominations, said publicly at the time that he’d gone so far as to recommend Garland to the president as “a consensus nominee” who would get confirmed “virtually unanimously.” Obama chose Elena Kagan, his solicitor general, instead.
Asked on March 11 about the current opening created by the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Hatch told the conservative website Newsmax.com that Obama “could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man.” Hatch, who is among