The Twitter account for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign was ready to remind everyone, in the minutes after the Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s travel ban, of the unprecedented power grab that helped secure such a decision.
The tweet was photo of McConnell going in for a hand shake with Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who filled the absence on the bench created by Justice Scalia Antonin Scalia’s death in 2016 and provided the fifth vote upholding the ban Tuesday.
— Team Mitch (@Team_Mitch) June 26, 2018
McConnell notoriously blocked then-President Barack Obama from filling the seat with his own choice, D.C. Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland, and refused to grant the Obama nominee even a committee hearing.
The seat stayed open well over a year, while the prospect of a Republican-appointed Supreme Court justice to fill the pivotal ninth seat appeared to help drive conservatives otherwise skeptical of Trump to the ballot box in 2016, according to exit polls.
Trump nominated Gorsuch, who has quickly emerged as one of the most conservative justices on the court, soon after his inauguration and Senate Republicans led by McConnell blew up the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees to see him confirmed.
McConnell, meanwhile, has bragged that blocking Garland was “the most consequential decision I’ve made in my entire public career.”