Democrats Urge McConnell: No Vote on Kennedy Replacement Until After Midterms

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 24: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) smiles after addressing reporters following a lunch with Senate Republicans and President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill, October 24, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump joined the senators to talk about upcoming legislation, including the proposed GOP tax cuts and …
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Leading Democratic Senators are demanding a vote on the Trump administration’s forthcoming nominee to the Supreme Court be delayed until after the midterm elections in November 2018.

Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on the Senate floor Wednesday that the Supreme Court seat should remain vacant until after the elections.

“Our Republican colleagues in the Senate should follow the rule they set in 2016: not to consider a Supreme Court justice in an election year,” said the New York lawmaker. “Senator McConnell would tell anyone who listened that the Senate had the right to advise and consent, and that was every bit as important as the president’s right to nominate.

“Millions of people are just months away from determining the senators who should vote to confirm or reject the president’s nominee, and their voices deserve to be heard now as Leader McConnell thought they deserved to be heard then,” he added. “Anything but that would be the absolute height of hypocrisy.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said the vote should only take place until after voters have had their say at the “ballot box.”

“Given the stakes of this Supreme Court seat, which will determine the fate of fundamental constitutional rights, the American people, who will vote in less than 4 months, deserve to have their voice heard,” Harris posted on Twitter. “We shouldn’t vote on confirmation until they have voted at the ballot box.”

“There should be no consideration of a Supreme Court nominee until the American people have a chance to weigh in. Leader McConnell set that standard in 2016 when he denied Judge Garland a hearing for nearly a year, and the Senate should follow the McConnell Standard,” Sen Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said in a statement.

Echoing his Democrat colleagues, Sen. Chris Hollen (D-MD) said Kennedy’s replace should assume the bench after November.

“The McConnell Rule is clear—the American people must have a say in the upcoming election Kennedy’s seat is filled,” Hollen tweeted, adding “And when the Senate considers the President’s nominee next year, we need someone who will get broad support—not someone that will put special interests first.”

Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy informed President Donald Trump on Wednesday that he plans to retire from the Court on July 31, 2018.