Despite appearing to now have the votes to confirm, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday warned of a brutal Supreme Court confirmation battle to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, saying he expects an “appalling sequel” to the 2018 fight over Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination.
McConnell spoke moments after winning the support of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) to hold a swift pre-election vote, but he took no time to celebrate the strategic coup, which all but guarantees confirmation of President Trump’s pick.
“Two years ago, a radical movement tried to use unproven accusations to ruin a man’s life because they could not win a vote fair and square. Now they appear to be readying an even more appalling sequel. This time, the target will not just be the presumption of innocence for one American, but our very governing institutions themselves,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.
Kavanaugh denied allegations during his confirmation proceedings that he fondled and flashed female acquaintances when he was in high school and college. Many Republicans said those accusations lacked corroboration and were suspiciously timed.
Trump said Monday he’s considering five women to replace the liberal justice, including federal judges Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa. Barrett was considered for the nomination given to Kavanaugh and already faced criticism for her religiosity.
Trump will announce his selection Saturday, he tweeted Tuesday morning.
Some Democrats say if Republicans confirm a conservative to replace the liberal feminist icon, they will increase the number of justices if they reclaim the White House and Senate.
“The American people are about to witness an astonishing parade of misrepresentations about the past, misstatements about the present and more threats against our institutions from the same people, the same people who have already been saying for months, well before this, already been saying for a months they want to pack the court,” McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the Senate floor.
McConnell noted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s speech this year on the Supreme Court steps, warning justices, who have lifetime appointments, “you won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
The Republican leader said, “There will be time to discuss why senators who appear on the steps of the Supreme Court and personally threaten associate judges if they did not rule a certain way are ill-equipped to give lectures on civics.”