Sanders Says He Would Ask Obama to Withdraw SCOTUS Nomination if Elected President

PHOTO: Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign rally at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, March 15, 2016.PlayRicardo Arduengo/AP Photo
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Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said if elected president in November he would ask President Obama to withdraw his Supreme Court justice nomination of Judge Merrick Garland.

“I think I’m 100 percent prepared to support Judge Garland. I think he’s clearly very knowledgeable and can serve ably on the Supreme Court,” the Vermont senator told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow Thursday night. “But between you and me, I think there are some more progressive judges out there.”

Sanders went on to say he has a test for Supreme Court justice nominations -- a test in line with one of his main campaign messages.

“That justice must be loud and clear in telling us that he or she will vote to overturn this disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision. I am very worried about the future of American democracy and about the ability of billionaires to buy elections,” Sanders said.

The senator's opposition to the Citizens United decision has been a hallmark of his campaign. “That is my litmus test and that’s what I would insist on,” he argued.

Sanders did address plans by Senate Republicans to obstruct hearings on the nomination, saying the GOP will face political consequences for their actions.

“I think the vast majority of the American people, certainly Democrats, most independents and a number of Republicans do not believe that it is appropriate for the Republicans to act in an obstructionist way,” Sanders noted. “Senate function is to hold hearings and to vote. I think the Republicans will pay a very heavy, political price if they continue to obstruct on this issue.”