Conservatives have had a lot of legitimate issues with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Mitch is one of the main representatives of the GOP establishment that espouses conservative principles but refuses to fight for them. The few moments where the “Cocaine Mitch” persona comes to the fore have done little to earn forgiveness for McConnell’s tepid support of President Trump.
The one area where I will stoop to give Mitch McConnell any credit is in the realm of confirming President Trump’s judicial nominees. While I’ll admit that more needs to be done to fill the massive amount of judicial vacancies left by President Obama, McConnell has done a reasonable job of shepherding President Trump’s nominees.
Nowhere has this been more evident than the realm of President Trump’s SCOTUS nominees. I thought for sure that the death of Antonin Scalia in 2015 would result in yet another Obama justice that would gleefully chip away at the Constitution during their tenure. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised when Cocaine Mitch held the line and refused to give Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, a Senate hearing.
Cocaine Mitch supported President Trump’s two SCOTUS picks, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. The real question, however, is what would happen if there was another Supreme Court vacancy later this year or next year. Would Mitch McConnell work to confirm a third Trump SCOTUS pick, even after he cited the “Biden Rule” as a method of preventing President Obama from nominating a justice during his twilight years?
According to Cocaine Mitch, the answer is a resounding “hell yes:”
Speaking at a Paducah Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Kentucky, McConnell was asked by an attendee, “Should a Supreme Court justice die next year, what will your position be on filling that spot?”
The leader took a long sip of what appeared to be iced tea before announcing with a smile, “Oh, we’d fill it,” triggering loud laughter from the audience.David Popp, a spokesman for McConnell, said the difference between now and three years ago, when McConnell famously blocked Judge Merrick Garland’s ascension to the Supreme Court, is that at that time the White House was controlled by Democrat and the Senate by a Republican. This time, both are controlled by the GOP.McConnell’s remarks were viewed by CNN on the website of WPSD TV in Paducah.McConnell hinted at this position during an October appearance on Fox News Sunday when host Chris Wallace pressed the senator on whether he would fill a vacancy should one occur in 2020.“We’ll see whether there’s a vacancy in 2020,” McConnell replied without directly answering what he would do.McConnell has made the confirmation of federal judges a key part of his Senate legacy and a highlight of his stump speech in Kentucky where he is running for a seventh term.At the lunch, he said overhauling the judiciary is the best way to have a “long-lasting positive impact” because “everything else changes.”