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Government & Politics
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Strickland Blasts Portman's Refusal to Consider President Obama's Supreme Court Nominee

TED STRICKALND
M.L. SCHULTZE
/
WKSU

The battle over whether the Senate should vote on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee has moved to the forefront of Ohio’s U.S. Senate race. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the battle that has energized both the Democrat and Republican bases.

Former Gov. and Democratic senatorial candidate Ted Strickland promises he’ll keep the issue going right through Election Day --  unless Rob Portman pushes for the Senate to hold hearings and vote on the nomination of Merrick Garland. And Strickland insists the issue is resounding with voters.

“I can tell you that my on-line contributions to my campaign have tripled since Sen. Portman has taken the position that he’s taken regarding the Supreme Court nominee that President Obama has put forth. I think it’s a shameful position that he’s taken. I think it’s disrespectful to the president.”

Strickland said he's not telling Portman how to vote -- only that there should be a vote. 

Portman has said a heated election year is no time to consider a Supreme Court nominee and the choice should be left to the next president. He does plan to meet with Garland on Thursday, but insists that's as a courtesy only.

Some Republicans maintain that the vacancy caused by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia should only be filled by a conservative in his mold. Several are pushing the GOP presidential candidates to say who they would nominate -- and want to see conservative Sen. Mike Lee included on those lists.

Strickland pledged that if he were elected to the Senate, he would never block a vote of a Republican president’s Supreme Court nominee.