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 “Judge Merrick Garland is a strong nominee with an impressive background and impeccable credentials. He is a consensus candidate who has received strong bipartisan support in the past and has been praised by Democrats and Republicans alike—so I am hopeful that he will get fair bipartisan consideration now.


“I am very glad that President Obama has nominated someone who is clearly qualified for the highest court in the land. I supported him along with an overwhelming majority of Democrats and Republicans when he was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and I look forward to meeting with him and hearing his thoughts on how he would approach the important role of Supreme Court justice.


“I will evaluate Judge Garland and make my decision using my long-held standards for Supreme Court nominations. I will examine his record and his experience and I am hoping to be able to listen to his testimony at a hearing. I will want to make sure he meets the basic standards of honesty, ethics, qualifications, and fairness. I will evaluate if he will be independent, even-handed in deciding cases, and if he will uphold our rights and our liberties—including the critical right to privacy. And I will do everything I can to make sure the questions, values, and priorities of Washington state families are heard in this process.


“The Constitution is very clear about the process for filling Supreme Court vacancies. Now that the President has upheld his Constitutional responsibility to nominate a candidate to fill this Supreme Court vacancy, it's the Senate's job to carefully evaluate him and give him a vote. Senate Republicans need to put partisan politics aside for the good of the country and work with Senate Democrats and the President to give Judge Garland fair consideration and fill this vacancy responsibly. They should walk away from their threats to smear this nominee and their refusal to even meet with him. People across the country are expecting Senate Republicans to do their job, and I am hoping that Republican leaders will listen.”