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Missouri, Illinois lawmakers react to Merrick Garland nomination

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Judge Merrick Garland (C) speaks after US President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden (L), announced Garland's nomination to the US Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC, on March 16, 2016. Garland, 63, is currently Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. (Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Judge Merrick Garland (C) speaks after US President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden (L), announced Garland’s nomination to the US Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC, on March 16, 2016.
Garland, 63, is currently Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. (Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The reactions from Missouri and Illinois lawmakers on President Barack Obama nominating Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court:

Blunt says he won’t support Supreme Court nominee
Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri says he will not vote for President Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

Obama on Wednesday nominated appeals court judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court for a vacancy created by the death last month of Antonin Scalia. Scalia was a leading conservative and many Republicans have said the president elected in November, not Obama, should pick the nominee.

Blunt is among those who have said they would not support an Obama nominee. He said in a statement that while the president has the right to nominate someone, the Senate has the “Constitutional responsibility” to decide if that is the right person.

Durbin urges Senate hearing on Supreme Court nominee
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has joined fellow Democrats and advocacy groups calling on Senate Republicans to give President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee a confirmation hearing and timely vote.

Obama on Wednesday nominated Chicago native Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy created by the death last month of Antonin Scalia. Scalia was a leading conservative and many Republicans have said a new president elected in November, not Obama, should pick the nominee.

Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, calls Garland “an outstanding attorney and jurist with an admirable list of accomplishments.”

Others urging a Senate confirmation hearing and vote include U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, a Chicago Democrat; Environmental Law & Policy Center Executive Director Howard Learner, and Equality Illinois, an Illinois group advocating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

Sen. Kirk ready to assess Obama’s Supreme Court nominee
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois says he will assess President Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court “on his record and qualifications.”

Kirk on Wednesday reiterated a stance he first took last month when he broke with some fellow Republicans who said Obama’s successor should choose a replacement for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Obama announced his nominee, appeals court judge Merrick Garland, Wednesday

Kirk says it’s the Senate’s “constitutionally defined role to provide advice and consent” and that’s “as important as the president’s role in proposing a nominee.”

Kirk says he reaffirmed his commitment to governing without political rancor when he returned to the Senate following his stroke.

Kirk faces U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth in the November general election after she won the Democratic primary Tuesday.