Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), during a speech on the Senate floor Monday, debunked the Democrat “myth” that there is not sufficient time to examine and confirm a Supreme Court nominee prior to the presidential election, contending that “history and precedent make that perfectly clear.”
Speaking from the Senate floor on Monday, McConnell railed against what he called the left’s “pre-vacancy” threats and moved to debunk the widespread narrative that the Senate does not have sufficient time to consider and confirm President Trump’s forthcoming Supreme Court nominee.
“We’re already hearing incorrect claims that there is not sufficient time to examine and confirm a nominee. We can debunk this myth in about 30 seconds,” the Kentucky lawmaker said, citing a handful of examples.
“As of today, there are 43 days until November 3 and 104 days until the end of this Congress. The late, iconic Justice John Paul Stevens was confirmed by the Senate 19 days after this body formally received his nomination — 19 days from start to finish,” he began:
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, another iconic jurist, was confirmed 33 days after her nomination. For the late-Justice Ginsburg herself, it was just 42 days. Justice Stevens’ entire confirmation process could have been played out twice, twice, between now and November 3 with time to spare. And Justice Ginsburg herself could have been confirmed twice between now and the end of the year with time to spare.
“The Senate has more than sufficient time to process a nomination. History and precedent make that perfectly clear,” he continued.
McConnell also addressed the “completely false” narrative that the current situation is “analogous” to late Justice Antonin Scalia’s passing in 2016 and former President Obama’s subsequent nomination of Merrick Garland.
The majority leader quoted himself in remarks made on the Senate floor a day after Scalia’s passing.
“The Senate has not filled a vacancy arising in an election year when there was a divided government since 1888 — almost 130 years ago,” McConnell said, quoting his prior remarks. The following day, McConnell said he told reporters, “You have to go back to 1888 when Grover Cleveland was president to find the last time a vacancy created in a presidential election year was approved by the Senate of a different party.”
“As of then, only six prior times in American history had a Supreme Court vacancy arisen in a presidential election year and the president sent a nomination that year to the Senate of the opposite party,” McConnell continued.
“The majority of those times the outcome was exactly what happened in 2016. No confirmation,” added, calling it a “historically normal outcome” in the event of a divided government.