Back in 2016, after President Barack Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme court, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that Republicans would keep the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat open until the next president took office, over a year away.
In blocking Garland’s nomination, McConnell issued a conclusive statement:
“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”
But now he’s changing his tune.
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, after the confirmation of the second Supreme Court justice nominated by President Donald Trump — and with the potential for more Supreme Court nominations before Election Day in 2020 — McConnell rewrote his own invented rule in Republicans’ favor.
McConnell now claims that in blocking Obama nominee Merrick Garland’s confirmation process for months, “we simply followed the tradition in America, which is that if you have a Senate of a different party than the President you don’t fill a vacancy created in a presidential election year,” he told Fox News host Chris Wallace.
Now, let that thought sink in for a moment. By retroactively narrowing his own rule, McConnell implied he would work to confirm a Supreme Court nominee referred by a Republican president, namely Trump, to the Republican-controlled Senate.
Wallace pressed McConnell on his new rule in the interview.
Watch the video below:
McConnell now implies he will consider a Trump SCOTUS nominee in the 2020 election year, if Republicans hold the Senate in 2018: pic.twitter.com/1mApkA7uVD
— Matt Shuham (@mattshuham) October 7, 2018