McConnell open to Supreme Court nomination in 2020

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — McConnell, Kaine offer bill to raise tobacco buying age to 21 | Measles outbreak spreads to 24 states | Pro-ObamaCare group launches ad blitz to protect Dems MORE (R-Ky.) said in a new interview that he may be willing to consider a Supreme Court nominee during the final year of President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE's first term. 

“We’ll see if there is a vacancy in 2020,” McConnell said after Brett Kavanaugh was officially confirmed as the newest Supreme Court justice, according to The Associated Press.

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Democrats, who have criticized the majority leader over his actions during President Obama's final year in office, may seize on McConnell's comment. 

Obama nominated Judge Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandWarren calls for Congress to pass federal laws protecting Roe v. Wade Harris 'open' to adding seats to Supreme Court Gillibrand sets litmus test: I will only nominate judges who back Roe v. Wade MORE to the Supreme Court in 2016 to replace the late Justice Anthony Scalia died. But McConnell delayed Garland's nomination, with the senator asserting that a justice shouldn't be confirmed to the bench during an election year. 

McConnell argued that a Senate case in 1880 suggested such a move from the upper chamber only was necessary when it was controlled by a party opposing the president, the AP noted. 

McConnell also said that the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans had reached a "low point" during the Kavanaugh confirmation process. 

But he insisted to the AP that the Senate was "not broken" and that Democrats deserved much of the blame for the partisan divide. 

“We didn’t attack Merrick Garland’s background and try to destroy him," McConnell said, before adding, “We simply followed the tradition of America.” 

Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court on Saturday after a contentious confirmation process. In late September, he and Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding Ford's claims that he sexually assaulted her at a high school party in the 1980's. 

Kavanaugh has fiercely denied Ford's allegations as well as sexual misconduct accusations from two other women, Julie Swetnick and Deborah Ramirez. 

Kavanaugh's presence on the bench gives conservatives a 5-4 majority in the court.