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Senators To Feel The Pressure On Supreme Court Vacancy As They Return From Recess

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 4/04/2016 Amanda Terkel
SUPREME COURT © Constitutional Responsibility Project SUPREME COURT

WASHINGTON -- The issue of the vacancy on the Supreme Court will literally be following senators wherever they go when they return from recess Tuesday, with the launch of a billboard truck that will be roaming around Washington pressuring them to to approve President Barack Obama's nominee. 

The Constitutional Responsibility Project is hitting the streets Tuesday morning with a billboard truck, driving by the Supreme Court and displaying the number of days since Obama nominated Merrick Garland. It will be on the road eight hours a day, five days a week, until the Senate acts. 

The effort is being organized by a group of veterans of the Obama White House under the #WeNeedNine campaign, which has been coordinating the on-the-ground action to get the Senate to move forward on filling the vacancy. It has had people standing outside the Supreme Court every day with the amount of time that has lapsed since Obama nominated Garland as a constant visual reminder. 

Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (Iowa), vowed to block Obama's Supreme Court nominee even before he publicly put forth Garland on March 16. They argue that the next president should get to choose the replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia -- hoping, of course, that a member of their own party will win in November and choose a more conservative jurist. 

Senators couldn't even get away from the issue when they were in their home states over the past two weeks. Republicans faced frequent protests, and Grassley ended up simply keeping the details of many of his events in Iowa secret. Newspapers also weighed in with editorials urging them to give Garland a fair hearing.

About 40 constituents from Iowa, Kentucky, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin -- states with key GOP senators -- are coming to Washington Tuesday to lobby the senators on Capitol Hill. Two of the constituents are former Grassley staffers

The group will also hold a press conference outside the Supreme Court, meet with officials at the White House and attend a briefing at the Center for American Progress. 

Progressive groups have been going full court press in their attempts to pressure the GOP on Garland. On Monday night, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) will hold a grassroots organizing call with activists hosted by and 16 other groups. 

Garland has been on Capitol Hill meeting with senators about his nomination, although so far, there's been little movement from Republicans who are standing by their leader. One exception is Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who is considered one of the most vulnerable senators in the 2016 cycle. Kirk has called on the GOP to "just man up and cast a vote" on Garland. 

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