Speaking before the Columbia Rotary Club on Monday, US Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said the approval process for federal judicial nominees is much more politically partisan today.
Graham said judicial appointees need to be deemed on their legal qualifications. “Don’t you want somebody, a man or women who could care less about your politics, judge you based on the facts?” Graham said.
Graham said his predecessors in the Senate worked across party lines when it came to judicial appointment approvals. “Fritz (Hollings) and Strom (Thurmond), when it came to judges, helped each other,” he said, referring to South Carolina’s former longtime Democratic and Republican senators.
“We’re making the judicial selection process politics in another forum. And I’m really worried about where we are going with judges,” Graham told the crowd.
According to Politico, Graham is scheduled to meet with Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, on Wednesday. Graham reversed his initial opposition to sitting down privately with the nominee.
Graham also said that, no matter who the next president is, that individual has to strengthen America’s defense. “Our national security is in decline. Our military is headed toward being gutted. And the next president needs some partners in the Congress to turn around the budget cuts regarding our military before it’s too late,” he told the business-friendly crowd on Monday.