WASHINGTON, May 11 (UPI) -- The Democrats' top member in the Senate said Wednesday that if she's elected president, Hillary Clinton should re-nominate Merrick Garland to replace late justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court.
"I think the American people like this guy, as they should, and I think it would be a mistake to nominate somebody else," Reid said.
President Barack Obama nominated Garland, a federal appellate judge, in March. Since Scalia's death on Feb. 13, however, Republicans have repeatedly said the next president should choose his replacement. Further, GOP members in the Senate have said they will basically ignore Garland's nomination.
Wednesday, Democratic senators roasted their Republican counterparts for refusing to consider Garland. Despite unanimous opposition to the Republicans' stance, Reid is the first member of his party in Congress to publicly say Clinton should stick with Garland.
Reaction to Reid's remarks from the conservative side of the aisle was critical.
"Reid and the rest of the liberals in Congress continue to reveal the agenda all along has been to pack the Supreme Court with a liberal majority for the next several decades," Tea Party Patriots group co-founder Jenny Beth Martin said..
However, Reid was not hot on the idea of Republican nominee Donald Trump choosing the next justice.
"Trump picking a Supreme Court nominee is a guaranteed recipe for disaster," he said. "It's insane my Republican colleagues are willing to entrust such an important responsibility to this egomaniac."