Former North Carolina Gov. Jim Martin told The Charlotte Observer the Senate should have confirmed President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court.
He told the newspaper the most important issue to him is the choice of Supreme Court justices.
“The way to address it is to make sure we have a Republican Senate,” he said.
It’s been 210 days since Obama nominated Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, but the Senate has refused to hold hearings.
“He’s the most moderate that we’ve got,” Martin told the Observer.
Without a ninth justice, the high court is currently split 4-4 ideologically. The cases justices have agreed to take up have not been extremely partisan in an effort to avoid deadlocks, and the docket this term has been lighter than past years.
Martin, who was in office from 1985 to 1993, said he also has not found a way to support either presidential candidate, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Both addressed the Supreme Court vacancy during Sunday night’s debate.
Martin added that he is currently focusing on working to re-elect Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr and Gov. Pat McCrory, who squared off with Attorney General Roy Cooper in a debate Tuesday night.