Durbin: Supreme Court confirmation should wait until after election

Durbin: Supreme Court confirmation should wait until after election
© Greg Nash

Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinGrassley to administration: You must consult Congress on refugee cap Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens Bipartisan group wants to lift Medicaid restriction on substance abuse treatment MORE (Ill.) says that Republicans should wait until January to confirm the successor to retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, a frequent swing vote on the court.

Democrats are still irate over Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSanders hits Feinstein over Kavanaugh allegations: Now it’s clear why she did nothing for months On The Money: Senate approves 4B spending bill | China imposes new tariffs on billion in US goods | Ross downplays new tariffs: 'Nobody's going to actually notice' McConnell tamps down any talk of Kavanaugh withdrawal MORE’s (R-Ky.) decision in 2016 to hold the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat vacant for more than a year, blocking a hearing and vote on then-President Obama’s nominee, Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandHirono: Dems could keep SCOTUS seat vacant for two years Kavanaugh understands a good judge is an umpire — not a diva Budowsky: If Dems win control of Congress MORE.

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“Sen. McConnell set the new standard by giving the American people their say in the upcoming election before court vacancies are filled,” Durbin said in a statement, quoting McConnell's argument over Garland. “The U.S. Senate must be consistent and consider the president’s nominee once the new Congress is seated in January.” 

Kennedy announced Wednesday that he will retire at the end of July.

Trump immediately announced that he would choose Kennedy's replacement from a previously released list of possible nominees, and McConnell said the Senate will confirm the nominee this fall.

Democrats pounced on McConnell for planning a confirmation vote on Kennedy’s successor before the midterm elections after he refused to hold a hearing or vote on Garland's nomination for more than a year. Scalia died in February of 2016.

Many Democrats are still sore about McConnell’s tactic, but the GOP leader has called it one of the proudest moments of his Senate career.

“Wait, so the thing about ‘the American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice’ wasn’t really about a concern for the American people,” Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphySituation in Yemen should lead us to return to a constitutional foreign policy Overnight Defense: Biden honors McCain at Phoenix memorial service | US considers sending captured ISIS fighters to Gitmo and Iraq | Senators press Trump on ending Yemen civil war Senators press Trump administration on Yemen civil war MORE (D-Conn.) tweeted in reaction to McConnell's scheduling announcement.

“It was just about Obama?? I’m shocked!” he added.