Harry Reid made surprising comments Thursday, when he implied that the Democrats had tactics which would allow them to both force a vote on Supreme Court Merrick Garland, and subsequently get him approved. Reid told theHill:
"We have a couple of options, and we're deciding when to do that and if we should do it — when and if...I've been in touch with some of my senators during the break to determine that" -Harry Reid
The Democrats only hold 44 of the current Senate seats, with the two Independent senators, Bernie Sanders and Angus King almost exclusively voting with them. However, Reid implied he could get the 50 votes needed for a confirmation by using "extreme" measures.
The current vacancy comes after the death of conservative justice Anton Scalia last year. The Court currently contains 4 conservative and 3 liberal and one moderate justice, meaning the next justice would help tip the scales. The Republican caucus has refused to hold a vote on the next justice, saying that it is the job of the next Presidential nominee in an election year. Reid has fired back, saying that Republicans doing this implies strong support for nominee Donald Trump:
"As long as they're holding a Supreme Court seat open for him, they're his minions, they're his enablers...If they want to separate themselves from Donald Trump, and heaven knows they should, what they should do is call on McConnell to confirm Garland...he's a bigot running for office" -Harry Reid
Two moderate GOP senators Mark Kirk and Jeff Flake have already met with Garland and have indicated they would at least want a vote to take place. Flake, who has openly opposed Trump, said that if Clinton wins the election, the nominee would likely be approved during the lame-duck session between election day and inaguration.