he has highlighted the treatment last year of Judge Merrick B. Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Republicans refused to even consider Judge Garland during a presidential election year.
“The majority team in this chamber decided to steal a Supreme Court seat,” Mr. Merkley said. “Such a theft never, ever has happened in the history of our nation.”
Sometimes there were visual aids, like the chart he displayed on Wednesday morning outlining the history of election-year nominees to the Supreme Court and whether they won confirmation. At the bottom of the list was Judge Garland.
“NO ACTION,” the board read beside his name.
Senate aides said Mr. Merkley’s gambit was not expected to affect the timing of key votes this week. Republicans have vowed to confirm Judge Gorsuch by Friday.