AP AR State Wire

By Andrew DeMillo

Republican Sen. John Boozman said Friday he remains opposed to filling the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court this year, despite plans to meet with President Barack Obama's pick for the high court next week.

The Arkansas lawmaker said his sit-down with federal appeals Judge Merrick Garland on Tuesday isn't a sign that he's softening his opposition to considering the nomination before a new president takes office. Boozman and other GOP lawmakers say the next president should choose the next justice. Obama insists the Senate has a constitutional responsibility and plenty of time to consider Garland.

"In 2014, (voters) elected a Republican Senate as a check and balance," Boozman told reporters after speaking to the Political Animals Club in Little Rock. "Right now, the vast majority of Republicans don't feel like we should consent to the nomination, which is certainly within our ability to do so."

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