Sen. Toomey to Meet with Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee

Pat Toomey will meet with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland — but he says he still won't vote to confirm anyone Obama wants to put on the court.

Pat Toomey; Merrick Garland

Pat Toomey (left) says he’ll meet with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, but he won’t vote to confirm him.

Pat Toomey has taken a beating in the wake of Merrick Garland‘s nomination to the Supreme Court. His Twitter mentions are a series of jabs from Democrats tweeting #DoYourJob. He’s taken almost a month of attacks from the three primary Democrats vying for his senate seat.

That’s because Toomey has been steadfast in his decision for the last month: He’s not going to vote for Garland, saying it should be up to the next president. After Garland was nominated, Toomey said he wouldn’t even meet with him. But, today, Toomey released a statement changing his mind: He would meet with Garland.

But don’t get too excited, Democrats. Toomey still isn’t voting for Garland’s confirmation. He said in a statement:

President Obama’s team has asked if I would meet with Judge Merrick Garland, and I have agreed to do so out of courtesy and respect for both the president and the judge. The vacancy left by Justice Scalia’s passing will not be filled until after the American people weigh in and select a new president, and I believe that is the best approach for deciding whether to alter the balance of the Supreme Court. I plan on making that clear to Judge Garland when I meet with him.

This makes sense. Republicans would like a conservative Supreme Court Justice; they’re not confirming a new Supreme Court justice because they’d like the shot to have a Republican president nominate one and it’s close enough to the election that they can probably delay until then. But it’s not like Toomey can’t meet with Garland at least to say hi. (Or, rather, “Hi, here’s why you’re not going to get that new job.”)

Still, Toomey’s meeting with Garland will probably not dissuade his opponents. Earlier this week, he was greeted by protesters outside his office and in State College over the issue. Joe Sestak, one of the Democrats vying for his seat, has already released a statement saying, “Toomey cares more about obstruction than justice and more about politics and himself than people.” Katie McGinty, another Senate hopeful, put out her own statement saying, “Do not be fooled, Senator Toomey hasn’t changed his stance and is ready to let Donald Trump select the next Supreme Court justice.”

The Toomey campaign responded to Sestak and McGinty in a statement to Philadelphia magazine:

Katie McGinty and Joe Sestak are both knee-jerk partisans who would rubber stamp any Obama appointment without giving Pennsylvania voters any voice in the process less than eight months from now. That’s wrong.

Pennsylvania’s other senator, Democrat Bob Casey, has already met with Garland (and released sorta-awkward photos of it on Flickr, and this sorta-awkward video talking about the meeting). Casey, obviously, supports Garland’s confirmation as a Supreme Court justice.

Follow @dhm on Twitter.