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

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDem senator: 'Appropriate' for Barr, Mueller to testify publicly about Russia probe GOP lawmaker offers constitutional amendment capping Supreme Court seats at 9 Overnight Energy: Judge halts drilling on Wyoming public lands over climate change | Dems demand details on Interior's offshore drilling plans | Trump mocks wind power 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 Schumer4 in 5 Americans say they support net neutrality: poll GOP senator: Trump's criticism of McCain 'deplorable' Schumer to introduce bill naming Senate office building after McCain amid Trump uproar 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 DurbinSenate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen GOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers Senate votes to confirm Neomi Rao to appeals court 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 GarlandGOP eager to exploit Dem court-packing fight GOP lawmaker offers constitutional amendment capping Supreme Court seats at 9 GOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 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.