DENVER (CBS4)– Senator Michael Bennet has released a statement regarding President Barack Obama’s choice of Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Bennet released this statement regarding Garland and the decision for the president to fill the vacancy in a timely manner: “The President has fulfilled his constitutional obligation by selecting a nominee to fill the vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Now, it is the Senate’s constitutional responsibility to thoroughly vet Judge Garland through meetings, hearings, and a vote to confirm or deny his nomination. It is what Presidents and the Senate have done throughout our history.

“This is not the time to play politics to satisfy our political bases. The Senate should do its job. How we manage our constitutional duty to provide serious consideration and deliberation to a rare appointment to the nation’s highest judicial office will determine whether we deserve the respect of Americans who rightly expect us to exhibit dignity, mutual respect, and wisdom on their behalf.”

Obama says allowing the Supreme Court confirmation process to become an extension of the presidential race would be wrong. He says that would betray America’s best traditions. He is urging Senate Republicans to grant hearings and a confirmation vote to Merrick Garland, Obama’s nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. He says if they don’t, it would be an abdication for the Senate’s constitutional duty and would show the nominating process is “beyond repair.”

Obama says the Supreme Court is supposed to be above politics.

The president says Garland will travel to Capitol Hill on Thursday to meet one-on-one with senators.

Obama nominated Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. He says Garland is widely recognized for his excellence. He’s pointing to Garland’s experience as a law clerk, a prosecutor and as chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

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