In a move straight out of a West Wing episode, one Senator wants to resolve the partisan divide over the Supreme Court vacancy by confirming both Merrick Garland and Neil Gorsuch to the bench.
Under New Mexico Senator Tom Udall’s plan, President Trump would meet with Supreme Court justices considering retirement, according to CNN. If any justice agreed to retire, Trump would nominate former President Barack Obama’s nominee Garland to take their place. The Senate would then simultaneously confirm both Gorsuch and Garland
Obama nominated Garland in 2016 after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, but Senate Republicans would not hold a hearing for him.
The plan is nearly identical to the one proposed in a Season 5 episode of The West Wing. In that episode, the Chief Justice resigns from the court so President Bartlett can simultaneously put a liberal judge on the Court and give Republicans an open slot to fill with someone more conservative.
Udall’s office said the idea didn’t come from The West Wing, as he rarely watched the show, but was rooted in Justice Arthur Goldberg’s resignation from the Supreme Court in 1965. He began thinking of the idea when a constituent asked him why the Senate couldn’t confirm both Gorsuch and Garland.
Udall presented the plan to a group that included Gorsuch himself, according to CNN.