2016 Presidential Candidates React to President Obama's SCOTUS Nominee Merrick Garland

President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court earlier today.

March 16, 2016, 2:45 PM

— -- Hillary Clinton echoed President Obama's call today for a "fair" hearing for Supreme Court justice nominee Merrick Garland.

The Democratic front-runner was the first 2016 presidential candidate to release a statement in response to Obama’s nomination, saying: “Today, in announcing Judge Merrick Garland as his nominee, President Obama has met his responsibility.”

Obama nominated Garland to the Supreme Court earlier this morning, arguing that the 63-year-old chief judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is “the right man for the job.”

The president made the official announcement 11 a.m. ET in the Rose Garden at the White House.

Clinton praised Garland as “a nominee with considerable experience on the bench and in public service, a brilliant legal mind, and a long history of bipartisan support and admiration.”

She then urged members of the Senate to "meet their own" responsibility, as Obama has met his.

“This Senate has almost a full year to consider and confirm Judge Garland," Clinton said. "It should begin that work immediately by giving Judge Garland a full and fair hearing followed by a vote.”

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders also issued a statement agreeing with his fellow Democratic contender on the appointment of Garland.

“My Republican colleagues have called Judge Garland a ‘consensus nominee’ and said that there is ‘no question’ he could be confirmed,” Sanders said today, adding, “President Obama has done his job. It’s time for Republicans to do theirs.”

The hopeful also insisted that refusing to hold a hearing on President Obama’s nominee would be “unprecedented.”

In his own statement, GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz said “a so-called 'moderate' Democrat nominee is precisely the kind of deal that Donald Trump has told us he would make."

"I proudly stand with my Republican colleagues in our shared belief -- our advice and consent -- that we should not vote on any nominee until the next president is sworn into office,” Cruz added.

Meanwhile, Republican contender and Ohio Gov. John Kasich believes that Garland’s appointment is just “not going to happen.”

“I don’t think the president should send anybody up now 'cause it’s not going to happen. It’s just more division,” Kasich said while speaking at a campaign event in Villanova, Pennsylvania, today.

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