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Tuesday
Mar292016

Supreme Court Deadlocked as Republican Senator Meets with Merrick Garland

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Supreme Court was deadlocked in a 4-4 vote over a public employee union case out of California on Tuesday, highlighting the very much divided court after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Because of the split vote, the lower court's decision was upheld saying public employees represented by unions could be required to pay dues even if they're not members.

According to George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, it's a win by default. He said the decision most likely would have gone the other way before Scalia's death.

"This is a remarkable reversal of fortune for the teachers union," he told ABC News. "They went into this case with the expectation of a major lose. and quite frankly a blow for labor unions generally. They now eke out a victory by default."

As Republicans continue to fight President Obama on filling the Supreme Court vacancy, Republican Sen. Mark Kirk met with the president's nominee Merrick Garland on Tuesday. The senator pushed his colleagues to call for nomination hearings, saying those who refused to meet with the nominee were "too close-minded."

"I think it shouldn't just be for nothing that we should have a long discussion about key issues before the court with one of the most eminent jurists in the country," Kirk said Tuesday.

The Illinois Republican, who is up for re-election in the fall, said he hopes his meeting encourages other Republicans to soften their position.

"I think we should do our job," he said, calling for a "rational, adult and open-minded consideration."

A handful of Republican senators have expressed a willingness to meet with Garland.

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