Senator Tom Udall suggested on Monday that President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch be confirmed to the Court along with former President Barack Obama’s pick, Judge Merrick Garland. Garland was nominated by President Obama in the aftermath of Justice Antonin Scalia’s passing, but his nomination never progressed in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Gorsuch, several aides, and former Senator Kelly Ayotte met with Udall as part of Gorsuch’s series of meetings with Senators in order to drum up support for his confirmation process. Gorsuch will need bipartisan support in the event of a filibuster. Ayotte has been serving effectively as Gorsuch’s congressional liaison and taking part in the meetings.
Udall’s plan would have President Trump meet privately with any Supreme Court justices who are weighing retirement. He would then nominate Garland to that new opening and the justice would resign as long as Garland is confirmed. Furthermore, Garland and Gorsuch would be voted on together.
The idea is similar to the plot of West Wing’s season five episode, The Supremes, where a spot on the Supreme Court comes up and the White House convinces another justice to step down so a liberal and conservative judge can be confirmed.
However, Jennifer Talhelm, Udall’s spokeswoman, said the Senator has seen at most two episodes of the West Wing and is not a fan of the series.
Udall appealed to the President’s dealmaking skills and spoken desire to unify the country. “It’s a good chance for Trump to try to unite the country.”
“He’s got a book that’s widely acclaimed in terms of ‘The Art of the Deal.’ This is a deal that makes sense for the country.”