Should Bernie Sanders win the presidency, he would move Judge Merrick Garland aside in favor of a different Supreme Court pick.
"If elected president, I would ask the president to withdraw that nomination," he said at the Democratic debate Thursday night. "I think that we need a Supreme Court justice who will make it crystal clear -- and this nominee has not yet done that -- crystal clear that he or she will vote to overturn Citizens United."
For now, though, in his capacity as Vermont senator, and prior to the 2016 election, Sanders says, "Obviously, I will strongly support that nomination as a member of the Senate." Garland's nomination has been blocked by Senate Republicans who say that the vacancy came up too close to the end of Mr. Obama's presidency, and instead, his successor should pick the next justice.
"It really is an outrage," Sanders complained. "And it just continues, the seven-and-a-half years of unbelievable obstructionism we have seen from these right-wing Republicans.
For her part, Clinton dismissed the question as hypothetical and said she wouldn't "contradict the president's strategy on this."
"The president is on the right side of the Constitution and the right side of history, and the Senate needs to immediately begin to respond. I'm going to support president and when I am president I will assess the situation then," Clinton said, adding, "I think we need a Supreme Court justice that would make it crystal clear that he or she will vote to overturn Citizens United and make sure American democracy is not undermined."
A majority of Americans -- 53 percent -- think the Senate should hold a vote on Garland's nomination, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll released in late March.