Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that it is “highly unlikely” the Republicans would vote to confirm President Joe Biden’s potential 2024 Supreme Court pick if the party wins back control of the chamber in the midterms, The Hill reports.
Midterm elections are notoriously bad for sitting presidents and the Democrats have a razor-thin one-vote margin in the chamber, meaning it will be a tough climb for Democrats to keep control next November.
McConnell told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that the GOP is not likely to allow Biden to fill a seat in his final year after confirming Trump’s nominee Amy Coney Barrett in the final year of Trump’s term, just days before the election.
"I think it's highly unlikely — in fact, no, I don't think either party, if it were different from the president, would confirm a Supreme Court nominee in the middle of an election," McConnell said.
Not even 2023?
McConnell hinted that it was not a lock that Biden could get a Supreme Court pick confirmed in 2023 either.
"We'll have to wait and see what happens," McConnell said when asked if a Biden nominee could get a fair shot.
McConnell similarly blocked former President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland even though Obama had about a year left in office at the time of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death.
There are no vacancies on the Supreme Court but a growing number of Democrats have urged Justice Stephen Breyer, 82, to step down after late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away last year.
Calls for Breyer to retire:
McConnell’s statement renewed calls on the left for Breyer to retire while Democrats still hold the White House and the Senate.
New York Rep. Mondaire Jones recently called on Breyer to step down before it’s too late.
"There's no question that Justice Breyer, for whom I have great respect, should retire at the end of this term. My goodness, have we not learned our lesson?" he said earlier this year.
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Jones has a “point” Sunday on CNN.
"You know, it's something I think about, but I would probably lean towards yes," she said "I would give more thought to it, but I'm inclined to say yes."