Mitch McConnell stole a Supreme Court nomination from Barack Obama and gave it to Donald Trump.
Now the Senate Republican leader is preparing to steal a Supreme Court nomination from Joe Biden and hand it over to the Republican who he believes will succeed the 46th President.
McConnell appeared on far-right speakers Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Monday and was asked how Republicans – if they took control of the Senate in 2022 – would react to any efforts by President Biden to fill a Supreme Court vacancy that will appear in the 2024 presidential election.
“I think that’s highly unlikely – no, I don’t think either party, if they were different from the president, would validate a candidate for the Supreme Court in the middle of an election,” said the Kentucky senator.
That’s the same line McConnell used in the 2016 presidential election year when he was Senate balancing blocked the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland (now US Attorney General) by then-President Obama to fill the vacancy created by the death of Conservative Judge Antonin Scalia. Garland never got a hearing, let alone a vote. The seat that the respected lawyer should have been held vacant until a Republican president, Trump, could nominate the son of the Ronald Reagan Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Neil Gorsuch to cast him as a suitably conservative judicial activist.
McConnell justified this legislative sleight of hand with the fact that vacancies at the Supreme Court should not be filled by “lame duck presidents” in election years.
“The American people have a say in this matter, so let’s give them a voice. Let the American people decide, ”demanded the Senate majority leader at the time in March 2016, eight months before the election. “The Senate will reconsider the matter appropriately, taking into account the qualifications of the next President nominee, whoever they are.”
The McConnell standard was established. And it lasted until the next presidential election.
With a vacancy just under a month before the 2020 elections, McConnell pulled out all the stops to get then President Trump’s nomination of ultra-conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Liberal judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg.