Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is criticizing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for promising a vote on a Supreme Court nominee to fill the vacancy created by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, saying the majority leader was ignoring "principle and consistency."
After McConnell made his vow Monday on the Senate floor, Schumer referred back to McConnell's comments and actions that refused to consider Judge Merrick Garland in 2016 following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February of the presidential election year.
"Mere hours after the death of Justice Scalia, quote — his words — 'The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice; therefore, this vacancy shall not be filled until we have a new president,'" Schumer said in a Senate floor speech. "No amount of sophistry could change what McConnell said then and it applies even more so now — more so, so much closer we are to an election."
McConnell on Friday, following Ginsburg's death promised a vote on a nominee if President Donald Trump proposed someone, and he reiterated that Monday on the floor of the Senate, but did not commit to holding it before the Nov. 3 election.
"Leader McConnell put the Senate on pause for over four months while COVID-19 devastated our country," Schumer said. "But now he will move earth and heaven and ignore all principle and consistency to install a new Supreme Court justice who could rip away Americans' healthcare in the middle of a pandemic."
Senate Democrats issued a release Monday quoting the Congressional Research Service that Congress' upper house has never confirmed a Supreme Court nominee this close to an election.
It said nine vacancies arose during a presidential election year before the election with the latest confirmations in July.
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