When President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) refused to consider him, blocking the nominee until after the year’s presidential election.
He said then that “the American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice.” The tactic cost Garland his spot on the court.
With his party now in the White House, McConnell said Tuesday he’d try to push through any nomination that President Trump might make to the high court — even if it comes during an election year. Some saw that stance, which McConnell has signaled before, as disingenuous.
McConnell responded to the hypothetical question at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Paducah, Ky.
“Should a Supreme Court justice die next year, what will your position be on filling that spot?” an attendee asked, setting up a scenario that would mirror 2016, when Justice Antonin Scalia died suddenly in February.
“Uh, we’d fill it,” McConnell said with a wry, tight-lipped smile.