In an interview recently, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell completely ruled out a hearing on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, someone who was confirmed by an overwhelming majority of senators (76-23) in his nomination to the appeals court in 1997, and a well-qualified nominee who is widely considered a moderate.
Mr. McConnell said, “I can’t imagine that a Republican majority Congress in a lame-duck session, after the American people have spoken, would want to confirm a nominee opposed by the NRA,” but we all know that this is not a lame-duck session. That session doesn’t start until after the election. Whose interests is McConnell representing? Certainly not the citizens of this country.
As a result, we just had our first 4-4 decision from this court, which means essentially no decision, which means we just wasted a lot of people’s time and money. It is likely that the case will be heard again after a full court is seated.
This is the time for all Republican senators to show what they’re made of. (Sen Susan Collins, this means you.) Mitch McConnell is not a dictator. Senators, you can meet with Garland. You can write (and publish) letters to your leadership demanding a hearing. You can commit to your constituency that honoring the Constitution is more important than political maneuvering. In fact, you can request a no confidence vote because the majority leader is not fit to prioritize and schedule the work of the Senate.