Mitch McConnell: No Lame Duck Supreme Court Nomination
On the Sunday Shows this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated his position that under no circumstances would the Senate carry out their constitutional duty to advise and consent on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland.
“We’re not going to be confirming a judge to the Supreme Court under this president,” he told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press after the host asked if a “lame duck session” confirmation was possible.
“It’s not the person. It’s the principle. Who ought to make this lifetime appointment? It’s the next president, not this one,” he said, offering no rationale for the position.
NBC News reports:
Minority Leader Harry Reid meanwhile expressed doubt that McConnell would be able to hold his ranks together and keep Garland from getting considered in the Senate.
I don’t know why McConnell has done this to his senators. He’s marching these men, women over a cliff. I don’t think they’re going to go,” Reid told Chuck Todd. Reid said he told Garland that there will be a “breakthrough.”
“In addition to the people agreeing to meet, we have Republican senators and a veteran senator who said, ‘Well maybe what we should do is do it in a lame duck.’ Orrin Hatch, Lindsey Graham, others have said that. But if they’re going to do it in lame duck, do it now,” Reid proclaimed.
Both McConnell and Reid dismissed their own past comments about whether Supreme Court nominees should be considered during a president’s last year. Reid’s response to the idea that this is all political calculation: “This is not a tit-for-tat. This is Republicans wanting to do everything they can to hurt President Obama.”
And this is how McConnell responded to his own past statements about nominations: “Nobody’s been entirely consistent. So let’s just look at the history of it. It hasn’t happened in 80 years, and it won’t happen this year.”
McConnell also refused to take sides on the Republican side of the presidential race. When asked if he was “comfortable” with Donald Trump being the GOP’s standard bearer, McConnell demurred, “I’m going to support the nominee. I’ve got an obligation to my colleagues and to my party to support the nominee and I fully intend to do that.”