ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Rounds, Thune won't support lame-duck hearings for SCOTUS nominee

Spokespeople for U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds and John Thune said the South Dakota Republicans are not considering Senate hearings for Merrick Garland's Supreme Court nomination in the lame-duck session if Hillary Clinton wins the presidential election.

U.S. Sen. John Thune, right, delivers remarks while U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, left, listens during a panel called "Check-in From Washington, DC" during Dakotafest in August in Mitchell.(Matt Gade/Republic)
U.S. Sen. John Thune, right, delivers remarks while U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, left, listens during a panel called "Check-in From Washington, DC" during Dakotafest in August in Mitchell.(Matt Gade/Republic)

Spokespeople for U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds and John Thune said the South Dakota Republicans are not considering Senate hearings for Merrick Garland's Supreme Court nomination in the lame-duck session if Hillary Clinton wins the presidential election.

Last week, Republican U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, of Arizona, called for the GOP to take action on President Barack Obama's U.S. Supreme Court nomination if Clinton is elected president on Nov. 8. But a spokesperson for Thune said the senator's stance remains the same.

"Sen. Thune's position on President Obama's election-year, end-of-term Supreme Court nomination has never been about the person who was nominated," said Ryan Wrasse, a spokesperson for Thune. "It's always been about the principle of giving American people a voice."

Wrasse also said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, has made it clear Garland will not receive a vote in the lame-duck session, which is the session between the Nov. 8 election and the Jan. 20 inauguration.

Garland was nominated to fill the position vacated when Justice Antonin Scalia died, which left the Supreme Court with eight justices. Shortly after Garland's nomination, Rounds and Thune issued statements saying the nomination should be left to the presidential candidate who earns the support of voters in the 2016 election.

ADVERTISEMENT

While the majority of polls indicate Clinton will defeat Republican nominee Donald Trump on Election Day, a spokesperson for Rounds relayed a similar response as Wrasse.

"We are not aware of any plans to expedite a vote on President Obama's nominee to replace Justice Scalia," said Natalie Krings, a spokesperson for Rounds. "It is our understanding that the next president will still nominate the next Supreme Court justice for consideration by the U.S. Senate."

Unlike Thune, Rounds does not face re-election in November. Thune, a two-term senator and three-term member of the House of Representatives, will debate Democratic challenger and Yankton businessman Jay Williams Monday night.

What To Read Next
Members Only
“In our industry there aren’t a lot of young people in it. I like the fact that there are a lot of young people in agriculture here,” he said of the Mitchell area.
Members Only
After the departure of longtime superintendent Marje Kaiser and the hiring of Dan Trefz, who recently resigned, advocates say the specialty school needs help from lawmakers to reach its past heights.
Over the past year, the city has been mulling over bringing a secondary water source to Mitchell – a move Mayor Bob Everson said is aimed at positioning the city to grow.
At issue was the attendance at a legislative conference in Hawaii last December by Spencer Gosch and Jamie Smith.