Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said Sunday that Republicans should swiftly confirm President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court if a Democrat is projected to win the presidential election in November.
Flake was asked on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” if he’d changed his mind about approving Merrick Garland for the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat, after Donald Trump swept the Indiana primary last week to become the presumptive GOP nominee.
“I think Republicans are more than justified in waiting that is following both principle and precedent,” Flake said, adding that he wanted to have “the most conservative, qualified” jurist on the Supreme Court.
Flake said when Obama first announced Garland as his nominee that he would consider approving the nomination if it looked like the Republican Party would lose the general election. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) ruled out the possibility of a lame-duck confirmation on “principle.”
The Arizona senator floated confirming Garland in a lame-duck session again in the “Meet The Press” interview.
“If we come to a point, I’ve said all along, where we’re going to lose the election or we lose the election in November, then we ought to approve him quickly, because I’m certain he’ll be more conservative than a Hillary Clinton nomination come January,” Flake said.