McConnell signals GOP would block Biden Supreme Court pick in '24

Ruben Hill
Июня 15, 2021

Democrats overcame Republican opposition on Monday as the US Senate voted to confirm federal judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, seen as a possible future Supreme Court nominee for President Joe Biden, to an influential appellate court.

In 2016, McConnell and Senate Republicans received blowback from Democrats when they didn't give a hearing to Obama's then-Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's death.

"I think in the middle of a presidential election, if you have a Senate of the opposite party of the president, you have to go back to the 1880s to find the last time a vacancy was filled", McConnell said in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt on Monday.

Many Democrats are hoping Breyer, the court's oldest justice, will retire and create an opening for a younger liberal jurist while the party retains its majority.

Republicans subsequently confirmed Amy Coney Barrett, then-President Trump's third Supreme Court nominee, in 2020, locking in a 6-3 conservative majority.

While Jackson was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2013 to serve on the District Court, the stakes are significantly higher for the D.C. Circuit that has often been a steppingstone to the Supreme Court. When the Senate went on to confirm Donald Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett in 2020 closer to an election than any nominee in U.S. history, McConnell said the "tradition" only applied to nominees from the party that didn't control the Senate. The Constitution doesn't have that requirement.

There is now a movement on the left calling for 82-year-old Justice Stephen Breyer to retire soon so that President Joe Biden can select his replacement, just as there was a movement under President Obama for liberal icon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to retire. "So I think it's highly unlikely - in fact, no, I don't think either party if it controlled, if it were different from the president, would confirm a Supreme Court nominee in the middle of an election".

Indeed, McConnell said as early as February 22, 2016, that "the Senate has not filled a vacancy arising in an election year when there was divided government since 1888, nearly 130 years ago".

"The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice".

After graduating from Harvard University and its law school, Jackson was a law clerk to three judges, including Breyer. "And it is doubly wrong to think of its members as junior league politicians". Breyer, 82, an appointee of President Bill Clinton's, has resisted calls to step aside. "*Maybe* a tiny handful, but as a rule, Republicans will hold those seats open".

The U.S. Constitution doesn't require nine justices on the Supreme Court, although that number has stood for more than a century.

The Epoch Times has contacted Schumer's office for comment on McConnell's latest remarks.

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