GOP Senator Mark Kirk 'Would Consider' Voting for SCOTUS Nominee Merrick Garland

Kirk is the first Republican senator to meet with the SCOTUS nominee.

ByABC News
March 29, 2016, 5:04 PM

— -- One Republican senator said today that he's open to voting to confirm President Obama's Supreme Court nominee.

“Obviously, I would consider voting for him," Sen. Mark Kirk told reporters today after meeting with Merrick Garland. Kirk is the first Republican senator to meet with Garland.

The Illinois Republican, who is up for re-election in the fall, said he hopes his meeting encourages other Republicans to soften their position.

"I think we should do our job," he said, calling for a "rational, adult and open-minded consideration."

Matt McGrath, the campaign manager for Rep. Tammy Duckworth, the Democrat challenging Kirk for his seat, called on Kirk to pressure GOP leaders to give Garland a hearing and confirmation vote.

"Instead of going through the motions, Senator Kirk should show leadership by putting pressure on [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell and urge him to give an eminently qualified Illinois native a fair hearing followed by an up-or-down vote," McGrath said in a statement.

McConnell has insisted that the Senate will not move forward with confirming a Supreme Court nominee until after the November elections.

“The American people are in the middle of choosing who the next president is going to be,” McConnell told ABC's "This Week" earlier this month. “That next president ought to have this appointment.”

A handful of Republican senators have expressed a willingness to meet with Garland.