MADISON, Wis., March 28 (UPI) -- In a speech at the University of Wisconsin on Monday, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is expected to press for the Senate's consideration of Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, saying that the "core pillars of the progressive movement" are at risk.
A Clinton campaign official said that Clinton will officially "join the battle" over the Supreme Court today.
"The importance of the Court and the breadth of progressive issues it is set to rule on this term is yet another reason why we're not a single-issue country and we can't afford a single-issue president," the campaign official said in a statement. "Given the range of cases currently before the Court — on everything from immigration to a women's right to choose, affirmative action to voting rights — Clinton will say that the core pillars of the progressive movement are at risk of being upended by the court in a single term."
President Barack Obama's choice of Merrick Garland to fill the seat left vacant by the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia has been stalled by a Republican-dominated Senate that wants to wait to fill the seat until a new president takes office in January 2017.
Republican leaders in Congress have suggested that a delay in the nominating process until after a new president takes office would show respect for what it regards as the voice of the people on an appointment.
Clinton, on the campaign trail, has emphatically spoken out against the Senate's stalling on Garland's appointment, suggesting unspoken racism in ignoring Obama's choice and noting that no Senate has ever taken more than 125 days to vote on a nomination to the Supreme Court.
In her speech in Madison, Wis., on Monday, she is also expected to single out Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and call on him to do his job as mandated by the Constitution and hold hearings.
Grassley, who led the Senate investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State, has a longstanding antagonistic relationship with Clinton. In a television interview in January, Clinton said Grassley was seen at a rally supporting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump "for the simple reason to defeat me."
Clinton has made an issue of the Supreme Court in her campaign, writing in a Boston Globe op-ed in January: "The next president could easily appoint more than one justice. That makes this a make-or-break moment, for the court and our country."