News

Law & the Courts

McConnell Pushes Back on Allegations of SCOTUS Hypocrisy, Cites ‘Overwhelming’ Historical Precedent for Filling Vacancy

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) called for the Senate to vote on a new Supreme Court justice sometime “this year,” and argued that a confirmation hearing could take place before the November elections.

McConnell made his remarks in a speech on the Senate floor on Monday, while Republicans and Democrats gear up for a fight over the nomination that could occur in the midst of election campaigns.

“President Trump’s nominee for a vacancy will receive a vote on the floor of the Senate,” McConnell said.

McConnell also attacked Democrats for “an astonishing parade of misrepresentations” regarding his own position on whether it would be appropriate to nominate a justice so close to the election. In 2016, following the death of conservative justice Antonin Scalia, Senate Republicans refused to hold a confirmation hearing for Obama nominee Merrick Garland.

“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice,” McConnell said in February 2016 shortly after Scalia’s death. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

However, McConnell said his current stance is not comparable to his position from 2016. The majority leader pointed out that in 2016, the Senate was held by Republicans while the president was a Democrat. The last time a Supreme Court vacancy occurred in an election year with opposing parties in the Senate and White House was in 1888.

Quoting verbatim his own comments from a February 2016 Senate session, McConnell said, “The Senate has not filled a vacancy arising in an election year when there was a divided government since 1888, almost 130 years ago.”

McConnell further asserted that the Senate would have enough time to confirm a new justice before the November elections if it chose to do so, although he did not explicitly say whether a vote would occur before or after the elections.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

Elections

Vote Your Conscience

At the 2016 Republican convention, Senator Ted Cruz spoke a controversial phrase: “vote your conscience.” I think about this phrase, this idea, fairly often. I’m not one to give advice on voting (or much else). But when asked for advice, I usually say, “Vote your conscience.” Sweet conscience! One of ... Read More
Elections

Vote Your Conscience

At the 2016 Republican convention, Senator Ted Cruz spoke a controversial phrase: “vote your conscience.” I think about this phrase, this idea, fairly often. I’m not one to give advice on voting (or much else). But when asked for advice, I usually say, “Vote your conscience.” Sweet conscience! One of ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The Kavanaugh Court

If Justice Barrett votes as her mentor Justice Scalia did, she will be part of an ascendant conservative majority on the Supreme Court. What kinds of decisions can we expect from this majority? Short answer: Ask Brett Kavanaugh. Contrary to how journalists frame each seat change on the Court, comparing the new ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The Kavanaugh Court

If Justice Barrett votes as her mentor Justice Scalia did, she will be part of an ascendant conservative majority on the Supreme Court. What kinds of decisions can we expect from this majority? Short answer: Ask Brett Kavanaugh. Contrary to how journalists frame each seat change on the Court, comparing the new ... Read More
Music

Stevie Nicks, Like Springsteen, Preaches and Preens

In the 1970s, Stevie Nicks and Bruce Springsteen made impressions on pop-music culture with romantic rock landmarks, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album and Springsteen’s Born to Run. But their new 2020 releases, Nicks’s single “Show Them the Way” and Springsteen’s Letter to You film and album, make the ... Read More
Music

Stevie Nicks, Like Springsteen, Preaches and Preens

In the 1970s, Stevie Nicks and Bruce Springsteen made impressions on pop-music culture with romantic rock landmarks, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album and Springsteen’s Born to Run. But their new 2020 releases, Nicks’s single “Show Them the Way” and Springsteen’s Letter to You film and album, make the ... Read More
White House

Hell, Yes

Editor’s Note: If you would like to read more pros and cons on voting for President Trump, further essays on the subject, each from a different perspective, can be found here, here, here, here, and here. These articles, and the one below, reflect the views of the individual authors, not of the National ... Read More
White House

Hell, Yes

Editor’s Note: If you would like to read more pros and cons on voting for President Trump, further essays on the subject, each from a different perspective, can be found here, here, here, here, and here. These articles, and the one below, reflect the views of the individual authors, not of the National ... Read More