President Barack Obama decried a partisan and polarized system that has stymied the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in an address Thursday at the University of Chicago aimed at pressing the jurist's case.
"The process is so broken, so partisan that an eminently qualified jurist can't even get a hearing," Obama told the gathering at the university's law school adding that the tenor of such political fighting threatens to seep into the judicial process and undermine public trust.
"Our democracy can't afford that," Obama said.
Since Garland's nomination, Obama, who taught constitutional law at the university for roughly a decade, has repeatedly outlined his arguments for why the judge should get a hearing. The Republican-dominated Senate has vowed not to even consider a nominee until after a new president is elected in November.