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

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinThis week: Democrats, White House set for infrastructure, budget talks Senate confirms Rosen for No. 2 spot at DOJ Senate confirms controversial 9th Circuit pick without blue slips 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 SchumerSchumer wants investigation into Chinese-designed New York subway cars Getting serious about infrastructure Schumer calls on McConnell to hold vote on Equality Act 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 DurbinIraq War looms over Trump battle with Iran Muslim lawmakers host Ramadan iftar to break fast at Capitol Let's stop treating student borrowers like second-class citizens 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 Garland2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests Merrick Garland, denied Supreme Court spot, on court set to consider Trump subpoena appeal  Warren calls for Congress to pass federal laws protecting Roe v. Wade 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.