Supreme Court Nominations

Harry Reid has a plan to force action on Garland nomination; lawsuit has the same goal

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Merrick Garland

Judge Merrick Garland. Photo provided by the White House.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says he has a plan to show Americans’ “absolute disgust” with the Senate’s failure to act on the U.S. Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland.

Reid said on Tuesday that he will object to committee meetings until the Judiciary Committee schedules a meeting to consider Garland’s nomination, report the Huffington Post and the Hill. The Nevada Democrat added that he would consider requests for committee meetings needed to be held because of “extraordinary circumstances.”

The Senate requires unanimous consent for committee meetings after 2 p.m., or after the Senate has been in session more than two hours, the Hill explains.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal, meanwhile, reports on another tactic that seeks to force action on Garland. New Mexico lawyer Steven Michel has filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to instruct Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that the Senate can’t ignore a Supreme Court nominee.

Inaction “has created a constitutional crisis that threatens the balance and separation of power among our three branches of government,” the suit says.

University of Nevada at Las Vegas law professor Ruben Garcia told the Review Journal that a judge will likely refuse to rule because of the political question doctrine.

Michel, an environmental lawyer, also questions whether a court will decide the case, but he told the Albuquerque Journal he wanted to try.

“Certainly there are opinions to the contrary, but hopefully I put a credible enough position out there that a judge will want to hear more about it and figure out if this is, indeed, something that the courts should intervene on,” Michel said. “I feel pretty strongly that they should.”

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