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Top GOP lawmakers are holding their ground refusing a hearing on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland until after the election, despite several Republican senators meeting with Garland.

Former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah – the longest sitting member on the committee – sat down with Garland Thursday. Hatch reiterated, however, he believes moving forward with the process before November is the wrong decision despite admiration for the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

“Despite my personal affection for Merrick, I remain convinced that the right way for the Senate to do its job is to conduct a confirmation process after this contentious presidential election season is over. Doing so is the proper course to ensure a constructive process for a nominee and to preserve the integrity of the Supreme Court,” Hatch said in a statement.

Party leaders restated they believe the American people will have more of a say in choosing a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February, if the process waits until after the election.

Democrats have slammed the decision not to hold a hearing, alleging the upper chamber is failing to do its job by opting out of filling the vacancy before the end of the year.

Garland has met with 16 GOP senators since the nomination.

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