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

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGiffords, Demand Justice to pressure GOP senators to reject Trump judicial pick Senate confirms Trump pick labeled 'not qualified' by American Bar Association Feinstein endorses Christy Smith for Katie Hill's former House seat 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 SchumerOvernight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law | Michigan governor seeks to pause Medicaid work requirements | New front in fight over Medicaid block grants House, Senate Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law Why a second Trump term and a Democratic Congress could be a nightmare scenario for the GOP 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 DurbinSupreme Court poised to hear first major gun case in a decade Protecting the future of student data privacy: The time to act is now Overnight Health Care: Crunch time for Congress on surprise medical bills | CDC confirms 47 vaping-related deaths | Massachusetts passes flavored tobacco, vaping products ban 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 GarlandAppeals court clears way for Congress to seek Trump financial records Divisive docket to test Supreme Court ahead of 2020 Majority disapprove of Trump Supreme Court nominations, says poll 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.