Earlier this week, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made a last-ditch effort to persuade President Donald Trump to nominate a moderate-minded justice to the Supreme Court.
In a phone call on Tuesday, the Washington Post first reported, Schumer urged the president to pick Judge Merrick Garland to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, a source familiar with the call between the two confirmed to The Daily Beast.
Garland was famously nominated by Barack Obama for the Supreme Court only to have Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refuse to hold a hearing on the matter until after the 2016 election. The gambit paid off, as Trump won. But it further politicized the judiciary.
In his call, Schumer said picking Garland would be “a way to unify the country,” the source detailed, adding: “Schumer also warned the president that if he picked someone hostile to Roe, and hostile to the ACA, that it would be ‘cataclysmic,’ tear the country apart in a way it hasn’t been for some time, and be bad for the president’s legacy.”
Trump appears unpersuaded, however. The president reportedly had narrowed his short-list to a handful of names. And there has been no indication this week that those names extend beyond the list already put together by the conservative Federalist Society.
“The call seemed more like a check the box call than meaningful consultation, given that it came after Trump had narrowed his short list and begun interviewing candidates,” the source said.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.