McConnell open to Supreme Court nomination in 2020

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 The Hill's Morning Report - Dems contemplate big election and court reforms Court-packing becomes new litmus test on left 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 TrumpDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to visit White House on Monday Transportation Dept requests formal audit of Boeing 737 Max certification 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 GarlandGOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 Trump dismisses court packing: 'It will never happen' The Hill's Morning Report - Dems contemplate big election and court reforms 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.