In a speech in Wisconsin, Clinton put the future of the Supreme
Court at the center of the election debate, cautioning that any
Trump-appointed justices would be likely to roll back workers' and
abortion rights and "demolish pillars of the progressive movement."
"What kind of justice would a President Trump appoint, or for that
matter what kind of attorney general?" she asked, noting the
Republican front-runner wants a temporary ban on Muslims entering
the country and the deportation of millions of undocumented
"Once you make the extreme normal, you open the door to even worse,"
she said in Madison, Wisconsin, as part of a two-day trip to the
state ahead of its April 5 Democratic and Republican primary
Clinton called on Republican Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate
Judiciary Committee, to "do his job" and convene a hearing for
Garland, a moderate federal appeals judge who is President Barack
Obama's nominee to fill the seat vacated by the Feb. 13 death of
Grassley and other Senate Republicans have said they will not hold a
hearing or a vote on an Obama nominee in a presidential election
year, contending that voters should have a say when they elect the
next president on Nov. 8.
"Iíd say my voice is being ignored right now because of their
obstructionism," Clinton said. "We chose a president ó we chose him
twice ó and now Republicans in the Senate are acting like our votes
didnít count and President Obama is not still our nationís leader."
Clinton said the Republican refusal to consider Garland was the
"latest in a long line of actions aimed at disrupting our government
and undermining our president, and the result is an America that is
more divided, less functional and less secure."
Grassley, a six-term senator from Iowa who has tangled with Clinton
over the investigation into her use of a private e-mail account
while secretary of state, responded that Clinton wanted to distract
voters from the ongoing email investigations.
"This is simply a blatant attempt by Secretary Clinton to politicize
the Supreme Court and to change the conversation," Grassley, who
heads the committee that must hold hearings on any Supreme Court
nominee, said in a statement ahead of Clinton's speech.
Clinton has apologized for the email arrangement, which is being
investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and has been
slammed by Republicans for potentially compromising security.
Clinton has said she did nothing wrong and she believes the
government will vindicate her.
WISCONSIN UP NEXT
Garland traveled to Capitol Hill on Monday to meet with Democratic
Senators Ben Cardin of Maryland and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. His
first visit with a Republican, Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois, is
scheduled for Tuesday.
Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote to
Grassley on Monday and proposed hearings on Garland in April, with
votes on the nomination by May 25.
[to top of second column]
Clinton's speech came as her campaign aides argued with rival Bernie
Sanders' campaign in competing calls with the media over whether
Sanders has a viable path to the Democratic presidential nomination.
Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, won contests in Alaska, Hawaii
and Washington on Saturday, chipping away at Clinton's lead in the
race for the 2,382 delegates needed to secure the Democratic
nomination at the party's Philadelphia convention in July.
Clinton now has a lead of 268 pledged delegates over Sanders. When
superdelegates, party leaders who can support any candidate, are
added, Clinton leads 1,712-1,004, according to an Associated Press
But Sanders aides said he could eclipse Clinton's advantage once the
final round of contests are held on June 7, and that superdelegates
would begin to switch to back Sanders once he did.
"We are in this to win it, and there is a path to do so," campaign
manager Jeff Weaver said.
Clinton's campaign described her lead as "insurmountable" given the
party's proportional allocation of delegates in all states, which
means Clinton will keep piling up delegates even in states Sanders
"You have to win these big states very big, you have to win by
landslides" to make up the deficit, Clinton strategist Joel Benenson
Trump also plans to campaign in Wisconsin this week as he seeks to
build his lead over Republican rivals U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas
and Ohio Governor John Kasich.
Trump has won 738 of the 1,237 delegates needed to take the
Republican nomination at its July convention in Cleveland. Cruz has
won 463, while Kasich has won 143, according to The New York Times.
(Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu, Susan Heavey, Amanda Becker
and Ginger Gibson; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli, Howard Goller and
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