Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell signaled that President Biden could be hit with bad news in 2024 if a Supreme Court vacancy should occur. The Republican said that if the GOP were to win back control of the upper chamber it likely would not advance Biden’s future Supreme Court nominee.
The Hill reports:
“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.
Republicans subsequently confirmed Amy Coney Barrett, then-President Trump‘s third Supreme Court nominee, in 2020, locking in a 6-3 conservative majority. The move, which sparked howls from Democrats, set a new record for how closely before a presidential election a Senate has confirmed a Supreme Court nominee.
McConnell and Republicans have defended their strategy by noting that in 2016 there was a split in which party controlled the Senate and the White House, compared to in 2020, when they were both controlled by Republicans.
While there is no vacancy on the bench at the moment, multiple Democrats have begun pushing for Justice Stephen Breyer, who is 82, to retire.
Progressive New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortzed recently told CNN’s “State of the Union” that she believes Justice Breyer should retire. (per Fox News)
“You know, I – it’s something that I’d think about but I, I would probably lean towards yes. But yes, you’re asking me this question so I’ve just, I would give more thought to it, but, but I’m inclined to say yes,” Ocasio-Cortez answered.