Originally published on May 4, 2016 on The Atlantic by Nora Kelly.
As battleground-state Republican senators glad-hand their way through recess this week, Democrats and conservative groups alike are working to make sure constituents bug members about Merrick Garland, the Obama administration Supreme Court pick whose nomination has stalled in the upper chamber.
The fight began in February, after Justice Antonin Scalia died, and ever since Democratic lawmakers and liberal special-interest groups have kept the pressure on senators up for reelection in November, like Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire and Ron Johnson in Wisconsin. Their mission has seemingly had two public fronts, with competing interests: to get senators in tough reelection campaigns to align with Democrats and move forward with Garland, and to get Democratic challengers in those same states elected if Republican senators continue to oppose him. Using the ongoing Supreme Court debate and Donald Trump’s polarizing candidacy as ammo, Democrats hope to flip the Senate in November.
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