Earlier this week, incumbent president Barack Obama announced his nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States: Merrick Garland. Quite predictably, it was a decision met with criticism from across the Republican party and a number of Republican senators in particular, many of whom believe that Obama shouldn’t be nominating a candidate altogether.
As reported by CBS, Ohio governor John Kasich, who is currently clinging on to a presidential bid of his own, has now gently criticized those within his party who have disregarded Obama’s choice.
Speaking to Face the Nation, Kasich has said that Republican lawmakers should at least meet with Obama’s nomination, Merrick Garland, before casting criticism. John Kasich is also very clearly a fan of Garland, saying that if he were president, he may even consider nominating Garland to the job himself.
“I never thought the president should send it because I knew nothing was going to happen. Frankly, they probably ought to all sit down and meet with the guy.”
According to POLITICO, John Kasich then went on to attempt to clarify his comments, tweeting that he would “give proper consideration to all SCOTUS candidates.” We’d throw a guess that the Republican party establishment weren’t all too pleased with Kasich’s comments, appearing to support the decision of a Democratic president.
John Kasich’s comments follow a decision made by Senate Republican leaders to refuse even considering Barack Obama’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The official Senate line of the GOP has been to refuse even meeting with Merrick Garland, but there have been reports that individual Republican senators are prepared to meet with the candidate. In particular, Senator Mark Kirk has broken from his party, calling for a vote on the nomination.
In a surprise move by John Kasich, he even went as far to say that he’d consider nominating Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court himself if he was president, and if it was what the American people wanted.
The Ohio governor, who is currently clinging on to his bid to become president of the United States, has built his entire campaign around a theme of unity. He’s repeatedly called for cross-party coming together for the greater good. But for John Kasich, it’s a testament that truly hasn’t been able to stand against frontrunner Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, both of whom are currently leading Kasich in the race for the Republican nomination.
It’s worth keeping in mind that John Kasich is no stranger to court nominations. During his time as governor of Ohio, he’s appointed over 100 nominees to the state’s courts. In fact, during his interview, Kasich was keen to point out that he’d even appointed a woman to the Supreme Court of Ohio.
Barack Obama certainly wouldn’t have expected to receive support for his Supreme Court nomination from one of the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, especially when you take into consideration how hostile Senate Republicans have been towards his pick. That being said, John Kasich’s comments are likely to mean very little, given how far behind he is in the race.
Kasich’s presidential bid has been far from successful. He initially didn’t manage to pick up any of the first 22 primaries and caucuses. However, earlier this week came first place in his home state of Ohio, where the winner takes all 66 delegates. His victory in the state was hardly surprising, however, as the incumbent governor for two consecutive terms, Kasich’s name still means a good deal across the state.
For now, John Kasich still clings on to his chance of having a real say over the next Supreme Court nomination, with his main hope sitting in the possibility that the GOP could fall behind him as the anti-Trump candidate.
[Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images]