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Carlos Lopez-Cantera takes David Jolly to task for saying that Merrick Garland deserves an up-or-down vote

in 2017/Top Headlines by

David Jolly was criticized by his GOP senate opponents for agreeing to debate Democrat Alan Grayson when Monday night’s event was announced. They criticized him during the event. And one of them is now taking him to task for one of his responses, nearly 24 hours later.

When asked if Merrick GarlandPresident Obama’s choice to succeed Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court deserved a vote, Jolly said yes, though he added that he would vote against him if given the opportunity.

“I do think he should have a hearing and I would like to see a vote,” Jolly said, adding that if he were in the senate right now he would meet with Garland. “Of course,” he said.

Wrong answer, says the press secretary for Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera’s Senate campaign.

“Congressman Jolly’s support of bringing Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee to a vote is evidence of his unwillingness to stand up to the President’s unprecedented decision to try to force a liberal nominee who would shift the balance of the court for years, during an election year,” said Courtney Alexander  “Time and time again, Barack Obama has proven he cannot be trusted to uphold the Constitution, and Congressman Jolly’s support of a vote does nothing more than add validity to the President’s agenda. Congressman Jolly would take a chance on confirming Obama’s liberal nominee, Judge Garland, who would take away our second amendment rights and allow government to grow to unprecedented levels.”

During Monday night’s debate, Jolly said he could not support Garland because of his stance on the Second Amendment and unions. But his stance that he would actually support an up-or-down vote is heresy in the GOP Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed less than two hours after Scalia was found dead in Texas in early February that the Senate would not vote on any nominee that Obama might select, saying that such an important decision should wait until after the election.

Democrats have strongly disagreed, saying that the Senate is abdicating it constitutional responsibilities not to advise or consent on a Supreme Court nominee.

The high court is working with just eight justices, which has resulted already in some 4-4 ties.

Another GOP Senate candidate, Congressman Ron DeSantis, issued out four different tweets during Monday night’s debate where he compared Jolly’s voting record with Grayson’s, considered one of the most progressive members in the Democratic House caucus.

The Jolly camp had nothing to add to CLC’s statement.

“Jolly is focused on passing the Stop Act, doing his day job, and winning the U.S. Senate race,” said campaign spokesperson Sarah Bascom.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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