Mitch McConnell Refuses to Say He Won’t Confirm a SCOTUS Nominee Next Presidential Election Year
On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace repeatedly asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell (R-KY) whether he would commit to the so-called “Garland standard” and not seat a Supreme Court Justice in the next Presidential election year, should there be a vacancy on the court before the end of Donald Trump‘s first term. McConnell repeatedly refused to agree.
Wallace said that the Senate had paid a price in the confirmation of newly seated Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and played a clip of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) railing against Republicans for complaining about delays when Judge Merrick Garland was delayed past the election and out of his nomination.
“We didn’t attack Merrick Garland’s background and try to destroy him, we didn’t go on a search and destroy mission” McConnell said of Schumer’s comments. “We simply followed the tradition in America which is that if you have a party of a different– a senate of a different party than the president you don’t fill a vacancy created in a presidential year. That went all the way back to 1888.”
“Schumer himself said, eighteen months before the end of the Bush tenure that if a vacancy occurred they wouldn’t fill it. So what we did was follow tradition,” he continued. “But we didn’t attack the nominee, we didn’t go on a search and destroy mission.”
Wallace asked about his specificity now on the party difference. “When you blocked Merrick Garland’s nomination from President Obama, you basically said that we don’t do this in a presidential election year, and that we wait until the election and then whoever the people choose, they get to pick the Supreme Court nominee,” said Wallace. But what you just said now was it’s a question of whether or not the part in control of the Senate is different than the president.”
Wallace asked him point blank if he would go ahead with confirming someone in 2020 when Trump is up for reelection. McConnell repeated that the history shows the last time there was a confirmation by a party different from the president in the election year was in 1888, and Wallace asked again.
“If you can’t answer my direct question, are you saying that if Donald Trump–” began Wallace.
“The answer to your question is we’ll see whether there’s a vacancy in 2020,” interrupted McConnell.
“But you’re not ruling out the possibility” prompted Wallace, of confirming someone during an election year should it come up.
Again, McConnell refused to answer directly, instead referring once more to the history of such nominations.
Watch the clip above, courtesy of Fox News.
[Featured image via screengrab]
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