Durbin: Supreme Court confirmation should wait until after election

Greg Nash

Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (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 McConnell’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 Garland.

{mosads}“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 Murphy (D-Conn.) tweeted in reaction to McConnell’s scheduling announcement.

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

Tags Anthony Kennedy Chris Murphy Dick Durbin Dick Durbin Merrick Garland Merrick Garland Merrick Garland Supreme Court nomination Mitch McConnell Mitch McConnell Supreme Court of the United States
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