Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, said on Tuesday that he would work to fill a Supreme Court seat if one came up in the midst of the 2020 presidential election. This is sure to rally opposition because a seat was not filled during the same situation in 2016 with the Obama administration.
McConnell made the statement while he was speaking at a Paducah Chamber of Commerce event in Kentucky on Tuesday.
“If a Supreme Court justice was to die next year, what would you do?” an audience member asked McConnell.
“Ah, we’d fill it,” McConnell answered and grinned for a few seconds.
The audience responded by bursting into laughter after his answer, a video of the event shows.
David Rutz posted this comment and video on Twitter after McConnell’s comments: “h/t @jaketapper, here’s video of @senatemajldr being asked what his position would be on filling a SCOTUS vacancy next year.
‘Oh, we’d fill it.’”
“Oh, we’d fill it.” pic.twitter.com/ymTj44ZPBr
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) May 29, 2019
McConnell drew intense backlash from Democrats in 2016 when he refused to bring Obama-nominated Merrick Garland up to a confirmation vote ahead of the presidential election.
McConnell’s spokesperson, David Popp, noted after Tuesday’s comment that his statement was consistent with his past statements about the possibility of filling a Supreme Court seat in 2020 when he didn’t hold a vote in 2016.
“What the leader did today is emphasize what he has said since October,” Popp said.
Circumstances in 2020 are somewhat different to 2016 because Republicans currently control both the Senate and the presidency, McConnell has argued. In October he said that a Senate tradition says that during a presidential election year, opposition parties in control of the Senate should not confirm a nominee.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, however, blasted McConnell as a “hypocrite” after his Tuesday remarks.
“@SenateMajLdr McConnell lives for GOP judges because he knows the GOP agenda is so radical & unpopular they can only achieve it in courts,” Schumer wrote on Twitter.
“Anyone who believes he’d ever allow confirmation of a Dem President’s nominee for SCOTUS is fooling themselves,” he added.
Credit: NY Post