Wednesday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said “the Senate will continue to observe the Biden rule” in response to President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the on the Supreme Court left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
McConnell said, “Under the direction of the Supreme Court and have a profound impact on our country. So, of course, of course the American people should have a say in the court’s direction. It is a president’s constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court justice and it is the Senate’s constitutional right to act as a check on a president and withhold its consent. As Chairman Grassley and I declared weeks ago and reiterated personally to President Obama, the Senate will continue to observe the Biden rule so that the American people have a voice in this momentous decision. The American people may well elect a president who decides to nominate judge Garland for Senate consideration. The next president may also nominate somebody very different. Either way, our view is this. Give the people a voice in filling this vacancy. Let me remind colleagues of what vice president Biden said when he was chairman of the judiciary committee here in the Senate. Here’s what he said, ‘It would be our pragmatic conclusion that once the political season is under way and it is action on a supreme court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over.'”
“‘That is what is fair to the nominee,’ he said, and is central to the process,” he continued. “Otherwise, it seems to me, chairman Biden went on, we will be in deep trouble as an institution. Others may threat, he said, that this approach would leave the court with only eight members for some time. But, as I see it, Chairman Biden said, the cost of such a result, the need to re-argue three or four cases that will divide the justices 4-4, are quite minor compared to the cost that a nominee, the president, the Senate and the nation would have to pay for what would assuredly be a is nominated by the president.”
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