Feinstein: Senate should follow 'McConnell standard,' wait to vote on Supreme Court justice

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinProgressives fume as Dems meet with Brett Kavanaugh GOP lawmaker calls on FBI to provide more info on former Feinstein staffer It’s possible to protect national security without jeopardizing the economy MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wants the Senate to apply the "McConnell standard" and wait until after the midterm elections to vote on a Supreme Court justice who will replace Justice Anthony Kennedy. 

“Leader McConnell set that standard in 2016 when he denied Judge [Merrick] Garland a hearing for nearly a year, and the Senate should follow the McConnell Standard," Feinstein said shortly after Kennedy announced his retirement.

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McConnell quickly responded to the announcement that Kennedy was retiring by saying that the Senate would vote in the fall on President Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee.

“We’re now four months away from an election to determine the party that will control the Senate," Feinstein added. "There should be no consideration of a Supreme Court nominee until the American people have a chance to weigh in." 

Feinstein's comments echoed what many Democratic lawmakers said. Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSenate Democrats should stop playing politics on Kavanaugh Montana GOP Senate hopeful touts Trump's support in new ad Strong job growth drives home choice for voters this election MORE (D-N.Y.) said it would be the "height of hypocrisy" for Republicans to vote on a nominee to replace Kennedy and urged McConnell to have the proceedings take place in 2019. 

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDems seize on Kavanaugh emails to question role in terrorism response Trump gives thumbs up to prison sentencing reform bill at pivotal meeting Overnight Defense: Officials make show of force on election security | Dems want probe into Air Force One tours | Pentagon believes Korean War remains 'consistent' with Americans MORE (D-Ill.) said in a statement that McConnell set the "new standard by giving the American people their say in the upcoming election before court vacancies are filled."

“The U.S. Senate must be consistent and consider the president’s nominee once the new Congress is seated in January," he added. 

Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandProgressives fume as Dems meet with Brett Kavanaugh Budowsky: Collins, Murkowski and Kavanaugh It’s time we start thinking about post-Trump America MORE, President Obama's nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, had his nomination blocked in 2016 by McConnell. The GOP leader argued that voters should have the chance to weigh in on what they'd desire for the court in the 2016 presidential election. 

The move allowed for Trump to nominate now-Justice Neil Gorsuch to the court shortly after taking office in 2017.