His office later walked back the comment, according to NPR, saying that McCain “will, of course, thoroughly examine the record of any Supreme Court nominee put before the Senate and vote for or against that individual based on their qualifications.”
Asked Tuesday if Lee backs McCain’s original statement about blocking all Clinton nominees should she win, the Utah Republican said the Senate will vet the next president’s choice.
“Of course we will look at anyone who might be nominated by the next president,” Lee said in a statement. “Whether that nominee will be confirmed is an entirely different question — one that can’t be answered in the abstract.”
For his part, Hatch — the former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee who has long held he will vote for a nominee unless that person is unqualified for the job — will look at any appointment, especially if Clinton is elected, according to Rob Porter, his chief of staff.
“Senator Hatch takes seriously his responsibility to evaluate each nomination carefully, especially for the Supreme Court,” Porter said. “Close scrutiny of any future Hillary Clinton nominee will be particularly critical since she has advocated shifting the court to the left and has a history of politicizing judicial matters, including having voted 23 times as a senator to filibuster qualified Republican nominees.”