On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that a Republican-controlled Senate would not hold a confirmation vote on a U.S. Supreme Court nominee from President Joe Biden if a vacancy becomes available in 2024—or potentially even in 2023—which could increase activists’ pressure on Justice Stephen Breyer to retire while Democrats still retain a Senate majority.
“I think it’s highly unlikely – in fact, no, I don’t think either party, if it were different from the president, would confirm a supreme court nominee in the middle of an election,” McConnell told Hugh Hewitt, a conservative radio host.
Mr. Hewitt commented on the movement among the radical left-wing of the democrat party, which is attempting to coerce Justice Stephen Breyer into retirement. Their plan is to shove the 82-year-old Breyer out, with Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaker on a new nominee if they can’t siphon off a few Rino votes.
Justice Breyer was nominated by Bill Clinton in 1994 and has served on the court for over 26 years. He is considered to be part of the liberal wing of the court. Breyer has already gained the ire of the lunatic left when he spoke out in April against expanding the court in a move known as court-packing. Mr. Breyer warned in an online lecture at Harvard Law School, that court-packing would undermine “the trust that the court has gradually built.”
Justice Breyer will have to reflect long and hard on pod boys’ demand that he resign just prior to most consequential SCOTUS term in his long and distinguished career, because, well, they know President Obama: https://t.co/RogvHspT9G
— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) June 15, 2021
McConnell blocked Barack Obama from filling a vacancy in 2016, denying Merrick Garland, now attorney general, even a hearing after he was nominated to fill the seat vacated by the death of Antonin Scalia.
McConnell said that was because no new justice should be seated in an election year – a position he reversed with alacrity in 2020, on the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg two months before polling day.
Ginsburg, a liberal lion, was replaced by the conservative Amy Coney Barrett, tipping the court 6-3 to the right. Major cases are coming up on abortion rights, gun control, affirmative action and more.
McConnell claimed then, and repeated to Hewitt, that no new justice should be seated in an election year when the White House and the Senate are controlled by different parties.
“I think in the middle of a presidential election,” McConnell said, “if you have a Senate of the opposite party of the president, you have to go back to the 1880s to find the last time a vacancy was filled.
McConnell put a heavy emphasis on confirming conservative judges during Donald Trump’s presidency, helping more than 200 Trump-appointed judges get on the bench and calling the judicial confirmations his “top priority” as Senate Majority Leader. The Republican came under heavy criticism from the left for his decision to block Garland’s appointment in 2016, which McConnell defended at the time by saying it should be up to voters in the upcoming presidential election to determine who the next Supreme Court justice will be. Prior to 2016, the confirmation of Supreme Court justices during an election year was a normal practice—the Washington Post reported in 2016 that one-third of all presidents to that point had appointed a Supreme Court justice during an election year—though Republicans defended blocking Garland by saying those appointments were typically in cases where both the Senate and White House were controlled by the same party.
As Republicans seek to take back control of the Senate in 2022, McConnell warned Hewitt he could potentially wade into GOP primaries to stop fringe candidates who appeal to conservatives but could not win a general election race. “There’s no question that in order to win…you have to appeal to a general election audience. And some of the candidates who filed in these primaries clearly aren’t,” McConnell said Monday. “Hopefully, we won’t have to intervene. But if we do, we will.”