According to the survey, 52% say Garland ought to be confirmed, 33% that the Senate should not vote in favor of his nomination. Another 15% are unsure. That’s about on par with public support for Obama’s previous two Supreme Court nominees, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.
Since Obama’s announcement, Senate Republicans have remained set on not accepting the nomination, with the mysterious “Biden rule” as ammo.
Referencing a hypothetical Supreme Court vacancy six months before a presidential election, Biden in 1992 warned that a hearing amid a contentious presidential election season would be “not fair to the president, to the nominee, or to the Senate itself” and recommended not holding hearings.
But later in the speech — and the core of Biden’s defense against what GOP lawmakers have named the Biden rule — the then-chairman said consideration of a nomination should go forward if the president consults with the Senate and chooses a moderate nominee.
Biden shook off the notion, telling Georgetown University Law students Thursday that such a “rule” doesn’t exist.
“Obstructionism is dangerous and it is self-indulgent,” he said. “Unless we can find common ground, how can the system designed by our founders function? ……Not some of the time, not most of the time. Every single, solitary time,” he said of holding hearings for nominations. “So now I hear all this talk about the Biden rule. It’s ridiculous, it doesn’t exist. The only rule I ever followed was the Constitution’s fair rule of advice and consent.”
Most Democrats (80 percent) back Garland, while 45 percent of the overall public have a positive outlook about his nomination.