McConnell reiterates that Senate would confirm a Supreme Court nominee if there’s a vacancy this year
Washington(CNN)Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday again reiterated his position that the GOP-led Senate would confirm a nominee to any Supreme Court vacancy that occurred this election year, despite leaving a seat vacant in 2016 and preventing President Barack Obama’s nominee from consideration.
“If you’re asking me a hypothetical … we would fill it,” the Kentucky Republican told Fox News Thursday.
Following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, McConnell had blocked the Senate from holding a hearing on Obama’s nominee, DC circuit judge Merrick Garland. McConnell had argued at the time that “this nomination ought to be made by the President we’re in the process of electing this year.”
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It was McConnell who seized the moment after the death of Scalia last February to announce there would be no confirmation hearings until after the election. “The next justice could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court and have a profound impact on our country,” he said at the time.