McConnell changes course after opposing SCOTUS nominees in presidential election year

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell left open the possibility of confirming a Supreme Court nominee in 20...

Posted: Oct 8, 2018 8:28 PM
Updated: Oct 8, 2018 8:28 PM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell left open the possibility of confirming a Supreme Court nominee in 2020 if Republicans still control the chamber and there's a vacancy on the court, marking a shift over how he treated then-President Barack Obama's nominee in 2016.

Speaking to both Fox News and CBS News on Sunday, McConnell would not rule out seeking to confirm a nominee if there is a Supreme Court vacancy in the final year of President Donald Trump's first term in 2020, assuming the GOP holds onto the Senate in this November's midterms. McConnell instead seemed to suggest that presidents don't get Supreme Court nominees confirmed in a presidential election year — if the Senate is controlled by the opposite political party.

2016 Presidential election

2020 Presidential election

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Mitch McConnell

Political candidates

Political Figures - US

Politics

US Congress

US federal court system

US Federal elections

US federal government

US Presidential elections

US Senate

US Supreme Court

Merrick Garland

"You have to go back to 1880 to find the last time a Senate controlled by a party different from the president filled a vacancy on the Supreme Court that was created in the middle of a presidential election year," McConnell said on Fox News. "That's been the history,"

Asked directly if he would allow a nominee to be confirmed in 2020, McConnell repeatedly sidestepped the question.

"The answer to your question is we will see if there's a vacancy in 2020," he said.

The nomination of Merrick Garland

During the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Merrick Garland by Obama in 2016, Republicans who controlled the Senate argued that the next president should be the one to choose who the next nominee would be for the Supreme Court seat left vacant by death of Antonin Scalia. At the time, Republicans did not focus their arguments on the party that controls the Senate as they took the unprecedented move to deny Garland any hearings or votes, instead pointing to the proximity to the elections.

On Sunday, McConnell also made the case that it matters which party controls the Senate.

"What I did was entirely consistent with what the history of the Senate has been in that situation going back to 1880," McConnell said on CBS News, defending his decision to block Garland's nomination.

West Lafayette
Clear
89° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 88°
Kokomo
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 85°
Rensselaer
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 84°
Fowler
Clear
89° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 88°
Williamsport
Clear
91° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 89°
Crawfordsville
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 85°
Frankfort
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 83°
Delphi
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 85°
Monticello
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 85°
Logansport
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 86°
Warm and windy with plenty of sunshine!
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 947918

Reported Deaths: 15377
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1291181990
Lake635721103
Allen53899761
Hamilton44082449
St. Joseph42122590
Elkhart33803491
Vanderburgh30574449
Tippecanoe26915251
Johnson23727418
Hendricks22410342
Porter21832347
Clark17562231
Madison17492385
Vigo16302285
Monroe14545191
LaPorte14389239
Delaware14183222
Howard13971273
Kosciusko11498135
Hancock10935166
Warrick10737178
Bartholomew10635170
Floyd10514208
Wayne10077226
Grant9213204
Morgan8928160
Boone8463111
Dubois7791123
Dearborn769490
Henry7691133
Noble7466101
Marshall7409128
Cass7219118
Lawrence7026153
Shelby6647111
Jackson661386
Gibson6190107
Harrison609386
Huntington604495
Montgomery5853105
DeKalb581091
Knox5535104
Miami548888
Putnam543268
Clinton537465
Whitley529354
Steuben501768
Wabash488692
Jasper483861
Jefferson474492
Ripley457777
Adams446068
Daviess4231108
Scott409165
Clay394957
White393858
Greene393392
Wells389884
Decatur388797
Fayette378578
Posey362341
Jennings356056
Washington334747
LaGrange325175
Spencer321136
Fountain318455
Randolph317190
Sullivan309449
Owen287064
Starke282864
Fulton280454
Orange277859
Jay257038
Perry254152
Carroll245229
Franklin242838
Rush237030
Vermillion235050
Parke221420
Tipton212055
Pike211740
Blackford170534
Pulaski168551
Crawford147318
Newton145845
Benton143916
Brown135846
Martin130217
Switzerland126910
Warren115616
Union98511
Ohio80511
Unassigned0482

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events