U.S. President Barack Obama listens to remarks at the University of Chicago Law School in Chicago

Senate primary-race pressures work against Obama's court nominee

U.S. President Barack Obama listens to remarks at the University of Chicago Law School in ChicagoBy Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is maintaining pressure on the Senate to approve his Supreme Court nominee, but the need for Republican U.S. senators seeking re-election to keep conservative voters happy before primary elections in the coming months is working against him. From April 26 to Sept. 13, nine states where incumbent Republicans’ grip on U.S. Senate seats is tenuous will hold party primaries ahead of the Nov. 8 congressional and presidential elections. During that period, Republicans seem unlikely to break with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s hard-line stance against holding confirmation hearings or a vote on Obama’s nominee, appellate judge Merrick Garland.

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