Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Wednesday urged Republicans to follow Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) 2016 precedent and wait until after upcoming elections to consider a nominee to fill retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat.
“Our Republican colleagues in the Senate should follow the rule they set in 2016 not to consider a Supreme Court justice in an election year,” he said. “Sen. McConnell would tell anyone who listened that the Senate had the right to advise and consent, and that was every bit as important as the President’s right to nominate. Millions of people are just months away from determining the senators who should vote to confirm or reject the President’s nominee, and their voices deserve to be heard now as Leader McConnell thought they should deserve to be heard then.”
“Anything but that would be the absolute height of hypocrisy,” he added.
In 2016, McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) refused to consider President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat, Merrick Garland. Instead, the seat was held open for months following Garland’s March 2016 nomination, until President Donald Trump had assumed office and nominated Neil Gorsuch for the seat.