BANGOR — Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine acknowledged Wednesday that she’s not having much luck in swaying members of her own party to hold a hearing on President Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court. But she’s hopeful they’ll come around.

Collins said she’s encouraged that Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley agreed to meet with Judge Merrick Garland.

“I hope that as time goes on, and as people sit down with Judge Garland and talk to him one-on-one, that perhaps there will be a shift in the position of the chairman of the Judiciary Committee,” she told a Maine Public Broadcasting Network call-in program.

Collins said she’ll be meeting with Garland the first week of April. She reiterated her view that the Senate should follow the “normal process.”

Led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, most Republicans say the late Justice Antonin Scalia won’t be replaced until the next president picks a nominee.

Collins said the president has followed the Constitution in making a nomination and that it’s “not fair and not right” for senators to refuse to give consideration to Garland.

“The only way that the Senate can reach reasonable and informed decisions on nominees to the highest court in the land is for us to follow the normal process. That means having these individual one-on-one meetings and then also the Judiciary Committee, in my view, should hold the kind of in-depth hearings that it has traditionally held,” she said.


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