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GOP Sen Susan Collins: ‘Garland Deserves Consideration,’ ‘Some 14 Republicans Senators Willing to Sit Down With Him’

Thursday on CNN’s “New Day,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) told co-host Chris Cuomo that President Barack Obama’s choice to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Judge Merrick Garland, deserves consideration by her Republican colleagues in the U.S. Senate for confirmation.

Collins said she had not decided if she would vote for him, but believed hearings were warranted.

“I certainly respect Leader McConnell’s view and I know that he sincerely believes that this appointment should await the election of the next president,” Collins said. “That’s not how I think the system should work and I think we should follow the customary order. The first thing I did when Justice Scalia died is I read the Constitution. It doesn’t put a time limit on the president’s ability to nominate someone for the highest court in the land. And I believe that Judge Garland deserves consideration. Now I’m not saying I would necessarily vote for him. That’s why we need hearings.”

Cuomo asked Collins if she had any allies within the GOP ranks in the Senate, to which Collins said there were “some 14 Republican senators.”

“Do I have any friends on this? Sure I do,” she replied. “I’ll tell you something that I think is significant. Two weeks ago when we left Washington to go back to our home states, there were only two of us to announce we were willing to meet with Judge Garland. Now there’s some 14 Republicans senators willing to sit down with him. My hope is that those one-on-one exchanges will lead to a change in attitudes.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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