In a taped interview that will air on Sunday’s “Face the Nation” on CBS, Republican presidential candidate John Kasich said that, if he were president, he would consider nominating Merrick Garland, who is widely viewed as a moderate appeals court judge, to the Supreme Court himself.
The Ohio governor’s remarks signal a slight breaking of ranks with leaders of his party who have vowed to not even consider President Obama’s nomination of Garland to fill the vacancy that opened with the death of Antonin Scalia.
Garland “received, you know, overwhelming support, I think even from Senator Hatch, so of course we’d think about it,” Kasich said. “The way we do it … is we look at a person’s record. I want a conservative who’s not going to make the law but who will interpret the law and somebody of high standing. I don’t care about their peccadilloes you know 30 years ago. But we have a process.”
Kasich also said that, while Obama’s nomination of Garland was futile because “I knew nothing was going to happen,” he hopes that Republicans in the Senate would at least give Garland a fair shake. “Frankly,” he said, “they probably ought to all sit down and meet with the guy.”
Although he won the primary contest in his home state of Ohio last week, Kasich trails far behind Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in the GOP delegate count, and he is a long shot for the nomination.
On Friday, Republican Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk also came out in opposition to his own party’s plan to effectively ignore the Garland nomination, saying that there should be a vote on whether the judge should be elevated to the high court.