Supreme Court nominee in election year? Mitch McConnell now says that’s fine


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate’s majority leader, insisting his chamber won’t be irreparably damaged by the bitter fight over new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, is signaling he’s willing to take up another high court nomination in the 2020 presidential election season should another vacancy arise.

“We’ll see if there is a vacancy in 2020,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Heading into pivotal midterm elections, McConnell tried to distinguish between President Donald Trump’s nomination of Kavanaugh this year and his own decision not to have the GOP-run Senate consider President Barack Obama’s high court nominee, Merrick Garland, in 2016. McConnell called the current partisan divide a “low point,” but he blamed Democrats.

“We didn’t attack Merrick Garland’s background and try to destroy him,” he said. “We simply followed the tradition of America.”

While McConnell said Kavanaugh’s confirmation was a shining moment for the GOP, some Republicans weren’t so sure. GOP Gov. John Kasich of Ohio predicted “a good year” for Democrats in the November elections and said he wonders about “the soul of our country” in the long term after the tumultuous hearings.

“It could be a short-term win,” he said.

The climactic 50-48 roll call vote Saturday on Kavanaugh was the closest vote to confirm a justice since 1881. It capped a fight that seized the national conversation after claims emerged that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted women three decades ago. Kavanaugh emphatically denied the allegations.

The accusations transformed the clash from a routine struggle over judicial ideology into an angry jumble of questions about victims’ rights and personal attacks on nominees.

Ultimately, every Democrat voted against Kavanaugh except for Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Kavanaugh was sworn in Saturday evening in a private ceremony as protesters chanted outside the court building.

McConnell said the confirmation fight had energized Republican voters and he praised GOP senators, whom he said …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

      

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