For anyone who still believes that good-faith bipartisanship remains possible in the U.S. Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would like to assure you otherwise.
As The Hill reports:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signaled Monday that Republicans, if they win back control of the upper chamber, wouldn’t advance a Supreme Court nominee if a vacancy occurred in 2024, the year of the next presidential election.
“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 radio host Hugh Hewitt.
McConnell was asked if a GOP-controlled Senate would take the same tack in 2024 that it did in 2016, when they refused to give Merrick Garland, former President Obama’s final Supreme Court pick, a hearing or a vote on his nomination to fill the vacancy created by the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia…
…McConnell declined to say what Republicans would do if a justice stepped down in mid-2023 and Republican controlled the Senate.
“We’ll have to wait and see what happens,” McConnell said, asked by Hewitt if the nominee would get a fair shot.
This is the same Mitch McConnell who said earlier in May that he was “100 percent focused” on stopping the administration of President Joe Biden — regardless of the policies presented by the White House. McConnell is saying unequivocally now that he would prevent the advancement of a Supreme Court nominee by President Biden, just as he prevented the advancement of Merrick Garland in 2016 and rammed through the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett — the kind of nomination that was supposedly done “too close” to an election.
As Sahil Kapur of NBC News points out:
The way to understand Mitch McConnell’s actions on blocking Garland in ‘16, to reversing that standard for Barrett in ‘20, to suggesting he’d block Biden in ‘23/‘24:
He is betting that Democrats won’t do anything to retaliate when they have power. So far that bet is paying off.
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) June 14, 2021
It is ludicrous for Democratic Senators such as Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona to continue to protect “institutions” of the Senate — such as the filibuster — when there is absolutely no question that Senate Republicans don’t give a rat’s ass about tradition or fair play or hypocrisy or anything else. If Democrats don’t push for changes to the filibuster or the 60-vote rule in the Senate, it’s only matter of time before Republicans do it themselves.
Mitch McConnell would probably even tell you as much if you asked.