McCain Changes Tack On SCOTUS: ‘Of Course’ He’ll Vote On HRC’s Nominee

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 28, 2016, during the committee's hearing on the Islamic State group. McCain is calling the U.S. response to the extremists reactive, slow, and insufficient. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
October 17, 2016 3:24 p.m.

Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) office on Monday walked back his suggestion that Senate Republicans could continue to stonewall the confirmation of a ninth Supreme Court justice if Hillary Clinton is elected, insisting he will cast a vote on any nominee the next president puts forward.

“Senator McCain believes you can only judge people by their record and Hillary Clinton has a clear record of supporting liberal judicial nominees,” McCain spokesman Rachael Dean told TPM in a statement. “That being said, Senator McCain will, of course, thoroughly examine the record of any Supreme Court nominee put before the Senate and vote for or against that individual based on their qualifications as he has done throughout his career.”

The Arizona senator said in a radio interview earlier Monday that GOP lawmakers would remain “united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up.”

The late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat has remained empty since his death in February. Republicans have refused to hold hearings for President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, making the unprecedented case that the next president should be able to decide who is nominated to the Supreme Court.

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