McConnell Says He Will Block Biden From Filling a Supreme Court Vacancy If He’s Majority Leader


While his take will likely surprise no one, it’s somewhat hard to fathom that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) just came right out and said it.

Appearing Monday on The Hugh Hewitt Show, McConnell admitted that if he were to be restored as majority leader after the 2022 midterms, he will block President Joe Biden from filling a vacancy on the Supreme Court.

“I think in the middle of a presidential election, if you have a Senate of the opposite party of the president, you have to go back to the 1880s to find the last time a vacancy was filled,” McConnell said. “So I think it’s highly unlikely. In fact, no, I don’t think either party if it controlled — if it were different from the president — would confirm a Supreme Court nominee in the middle of an election.”

McConnell has claimed ideological consistency on this issue despite being all over the place, in practice. When the GOP held the majority ahead of the 2016 election, he blocked then-President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. And yet in 2020, McConnell hastily proceeded to confirm Amy Coney Barrett — a nominee put forward by then-President Donald Trump — to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The Kentucky senator has hidden behind the argument that the Senate and the presidency being controlled by the opposite party would give the former the right to gum up the works for nearly two full years — should a Supreme Court vacancy arise.

Hewitt pointed to Justice Stephen Breyer — who is 82 and has received some calls from progressives to step down during Biden’s presidency. The conservative radio host asked McConnell if a Breyer replacement would be given “a fair shot at a hearing” — should the GOP take the Senate majority in 2023.

“We’d have to wait and see what happens,” McConnell said.

Watch above, via The Hugh Hewitt Show.

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo