Apr 7, 2022 - Politics & Policy

McConnell won’t commit to hearings for Biden SCOTUS picks if GOP retakes Senate

Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios
Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday that he won't commit to hearings for a potential Supreme Court nominee if he's the Senate Majority Leader leading up to the 2024 election.

Driving the news: The Senate minority leader told Axios’ Jonathan Swan that he won't "put the cart before the horse," but would expect President Biden to moderate if Republicans retake Congress.

  • "What I can tell you for sure, if House and Senate are Republican next year, the president will finally be the moderate he campaigned as," he said.
  • McConnell refused to answer whether he was devising an argument against holding a potential hearing on a Supreme Court nominee next year.

The big picture: McConnell in 2016 vowed he wouldn't hold Supreme Court hearings on then-President Obama's nominee Merrick Garland, saying Obama made the nomination "in order to politicize it for the purpose of the election."

  • The Senate minority leader also said last year that his party would block a Supreme Court nominee in 2024 if Republicans take back the chamber.
  • "I don’t think either party ... if it were different from the president, would confirm a Supreme Court nominee in the middle of an election," McConnell said in June 2021.
  • "What was different in 2020 was we were of the same party as the president."

Watch: Sen. Mitch McConnell interviewed by Jonathan Swan

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