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Politics & Government

Joe Biden Criticizes Senate Refusal To Consider Obama Supreme Court Nominee

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Vice President Biden took on Senate Republicans today in a speech at Georgetown University. He called on them to give President Obama Supreme Court's nominee a chance. He said the president named a more moderate judge than he might have otherwise done in order to win confirmation in the GOP-controlled Senate. NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg reports.

NINA TOTENBERG, BYLINE: The vice president said that President Obama made a deliberate decision to tailor his choice in part to GOP concerns.

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JOE BIDEN: We've reached out. Who do you want? What type of person should we nominate? The president did his duty. We sought advice. And we ultimately chose the course of moderation.

TOTENBERG: If the Senate does not act on the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, Biden said, the Senate risks moving its own dysfunction onto the nation's highest court.

Eight justices, when evenly divided, will not be able to resolve many of the nation's pressing legal issues for more than a year, he said. And the rights of individuals will be determined, not by the Supreme Court for the nation as a whole, but by the lower regional courts and the geographical happenstance of where people live. Nina Totenberg NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.