A last-minute call in Georgia to hold the line on Supreme Court nominee

The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. (AP/Susan Walsh)

The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. (AP/Susan Walsh)

Sen. David Perdue and Sen. Johnny Isakson have both made clear they won’t support a vote this year to confirm President Barack Obama’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee. But Georgia House lawmakers held a hastily-called meeting Tuesday to reinforce the point.

The House Judiciary Committee backed House Resolution 1612, which encourages the two Republicans to block Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland for the seat held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

There is no indication the two Republicans are wavering – Isakson said Monday he’s heard no pushback in Georgia from anyone but the media on the debate – but state Rep. Sam Teasley and a gaggle of other Republican co-sponsors wanted to hammer home their opposition.

State Rep. Taylor Bennett, a Brookhaven Democrat, said he was stunned by the vote. 

“We’ve got bills waiting for votes in both chambers that will actually help Georgians – medical marijuana, rape kit reform, expanding HOPE access,” he said. “I think we need to be focusing on those things that can actually help our constituents.”

Here’s a snippet of the resolution:

WHEREAS, both Senator Johnny Isakson and Senator David Perdue have expressed the view that any nomination of a successor to Justice Scalia should wait until a new President is sworn in next year; and

WHEREAS, such a delay would remove the nomination from election year politics and would be in keeping with the position advocated by both political parties over the years; and  WHEREAS, regardless of when a successor is nominated, such successor should be a person whose judicial views and philosophy are in harmony with those of Justice Scalia.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES that the members of this body join in encouraging Senator Johnny Isakson and Senator David Perdue to refuse to support, and to actively oppose, the appointment of any successor to the late Justice Antonin Scalia who does not share Justice Scalia’s philosophy of textualism in statutory interpretation and originalism in constitutional interpretation.

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