Less than a month before the 2016 presidential election, Republican Senators John McCain, Richard Burr and Ted Cruz vowed to block any nominations to the high court made by a potential President Hillary Clinton.
Remember when GOP senators said they’d block any Hillary Clinton SCOTUS nominees? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/us8hANe5CJ
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) June 29, 2018
McConnell changed Senate procedure with the “nuclear option,” eliminating the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees and changing the number of votes required for confirmation to 51, down from 60.
That left Scalia’s seat unfilled until Trump’s nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch was confirmed to the Supreme Court on April 1, 2017, by a 54-45 vote.
“I promise you we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up,” Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said on the Senate floor in October 2016. “I promise you.”
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), who co-chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, indicated he’d rather see a seat on the bench remain empty than confirm someone appointed by a President Clinton.
If Hillary Clinton becomes president, I am going to do everything I can to make sure that four years from now, we still got an opening on the Supreme Court.
Senator Ted Cruz, the firebrand conservative from Texas, said of the vacancy left by Scalia:
There is certainly historical precedent for a Supreme Court with fewer justices. I would note, just recently, that Justice Breyer observed that the vacancy is not impacting the ability of the court to do its job.
On Wednesday, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced he would be retiring at the end of July after 31 years on the bench, giving Trump another chance to place a young, very conservative judge on the Supreme Court.
All these audio shd be played loud for all these Senators in their office or their homes. They shd not be allowed to nominate a Justice till the 2020 elections. By then they all hopefully will be in Prison.
— Meera (@MeeraRao17) June 29, 2018
McConnell quickly addressed the Senate, saying: “We will vote to confirm Justice Kennedy’s successor this fall.”
The Senate stands ready to fulfill its constitutional role by offering advice and consent on President Trump’s nominee to fill this vacancy.
The hypocrisy, and chutzpah, are remarkable.
It is becoming abundantly clear that Republicans would rather game the system in their favor than allow duly elected Democratic presidents to do their jobs.
Wow! I thought they were only stonewalling Obama on his nomination then, saying Americans should have a voice in who gets elected to the Supreme Court. Had HRC emerged president, what would have happened to the voices of the Americans who elected her? 🤔
— Obinna Okoro (@MallamObinna) June 29, 2018
Of course, McConnell and his fellow Republicans in the Senate have no intention to delay hearings on Trump’s Supreme Court pick until after November’s midterms, despite the majority leader’s own standard that the American people should be able to vote first.