Watch: McConnell Schools Dems Who Want To Delay SC Nomination with a History Lesson


The political world was in shock and many liberals lost their tenuous grip on reality when it was announced that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy — known for his often-deciding vote that would swing between conservatives and liberals — would be retiring.

President Donald Trump immediately announced that he would pick a replacement from his prepared list of jurists to fill that vacancy shortly and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear that the nominee would swiftly receive hearings and a confirmation vote ahead of the midterm elections.

Democrats responded by crying foul and suggesting the vacancy should be held open until after the midterm elections in order to let the voters have a say in the matter, and cited McConnell’s 2016 refusal to confirm Obama appointee Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia … a seat ultimately filled by Trump with Justice Neil Gorsuch.

But McConnell dismissed the outraged cries and demands for a delay from Senate Democrats, noting the difference between presidential and midterm election years and citing prior precedence for Supreme Court justices being confirmed in midterm election years … while at the same time taking a not-so-subtle shot at former President Barack Obama.

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“The Senate will vote to confirm Justice Kennedy’s successor this fall,” McConnell stated on the Senate floor. “This is not 2016, there aren’t the final months of a second-term, constitutionally lame-duck presidency with a presidential election fast approaching.”

“We are right in the middle of this president’s very first term,” he continued. “To my knowledge, nobody on either side has ever suggested, before yesterday, that the Senate should only process Supreme Court nominations in odd-numbered years.”

“The situation today is much like when Justice (Elana) Kagan was confirmed in 2010 and when Justice (Stephen) Breyer was confirmed in 1994, and Justice (David) Souter in 1990,” McConnell explained.

“In each case, the president was about a year and a half into his first term,” he added.

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Indeed, the so-called “McConnell rule” that Democrats are now citing to delay a confirmation vote until after the elections is in actuality known as the “Biden rule” — named for former Democrat senator and vice president Joe Biden — and dealt only with delaying Supreme Court nominations during presidential election years, not midterm election years.

Furthermore, Democrats have decried with great anguish the fact that a Supreme Court nominee only requires a slim majority of 51 votes for confirmation and chastised McConnell for dropping the “nuclear option” on Supreme Court nominee filibusters that required 60 votes to proceed.

What they fail to require or deliberately ignore is that the “nuclear option” on the 60-vote filibuster threshold first came into play via former Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who dropped that nuke in 2013 in order to more easily confirm controversial circuit court nominations by Obama.

McConnell had warned Reid and other Democrats at the time that they’d inevitably come to “regret” blowing up the established rules of the Senate for political expediency, a warning that has now been proven quite prescient.

“You want to play games, set yet another precedent that you’ll no doubt come to regret,” McConnell stated in 2013. “I say to my friends on the other side of the aisle, you’ll regret this, and you may regret this a lot sooner than you think.”

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Democrats are indeed regretting their support of Reid’s “nuclear option” that has now backfired on them, as there is literally nothing they can do as an enraged but impotent minority to delay or stop Trump and Republicans from placing a conservative originalist jurist on the Supreme Court to succeed Justice Kennedy.

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. He has written about current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments.
Ben Marquis has written on current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. He reads voraciously and writes about the news of the day from a conservative-libertarian perspective. He is an advocate for a more constitutional government and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, which protects the rest of our natural rights. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the love of his life as well as four dogs and four cats.
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