Mitch McConnell and President Obama Start Their Supreme Court Battle

March 16th 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

Republican leaders want to wait it out, but not everyone agrees. 

Following President Barack Obama’s announcement of Merrick Garland as a Supreme Court Justice nominee Wednesday morning, Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said his party won't consider a nomination until the next presidency. A confirmed nomination by the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee would fill the seat left by deceased conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia — but it might not be that easy.

“The American people are perfectly capable of having their say, their say, on the issue,” he said from the Senate floor, referring to the upcoming presidential election.

McConell said that there are more pressing issues with bi-partisan support that should receive attention rather than “endlessly debating an issue where we don’t agree.” He also referenced Vice President Joe Biden's 1992 comments that a new Supreme Court Justice shouldn't be appointed in an election year. Biden told the Senate floor that a decision shouldn't be made until the "political season is over."

Other Republican Senate leaders' Twitter accounts vowed to block any nomination by Obama.