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Former President Bill Clinton on Sunday called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) vow to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's vacant Supreme Court seat before the next presidential inauguration "superficially hypocritical."

The big picture: Clinton, who nominated Ginsburg to the court in 1993, declined to say whether he thinks Democrats should respond by adding more justices if they take back the Senate and the White House in November. Instead, he called on Republicans to "remember the example Abraham Lincoln set" by not confirming a justice in an election year.

What he's saying: "Sen. McConnell said before he thought the people were entitled to a say. I don't know what's happened to make him stop trusting the American people, but apparently when it's to his advantage, the people are not entitled to a say," Clinton said on CNN's "State of the Union."

  • "It's a power play, and they think they can do it," Clinton said. He added that the political saga that will follow the death of Ginsberg is "going to further spread cynicism in our system."
  • "I think it would be good for Senator McConnell to make him feel better when he gets up in the morning if he proved that he wasn't being a hypocrite at the time and he just stuck with his position," Clinton continued.
  • "I think all other Republicans should be asked to do the same. But you can't keep a democracy if there is one set of rules for one group and another set for everybody else."

The backdrop: Republicans stonewalled President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland following Justice Antonin Scalia's death in 2016, claiming that voters should decide in the election who gets to appoint the next justice.

Go deeper

Trump endorses primary challenge against Senate GOP whip John Thune

Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Cal/POOLl via Getty

President Trump backed a 2022 challenge to Senate whip John Thune (R-S.D.) on Tuesday, tweeting that his political career will be "over" and calling Thune a "RINO" — Republican in name only.

Why it matters: As the end of his term nears, the president has turned on virtually everyone around him. Tuesday’s tweet reflects his last bid for power as he attempts to cling to his presidency.

18 mins ago - Health

Axios AM Deep Dive: Covid forever

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It was 563 days ago that the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by healthcare reporter Caitlin Owens, looks at our Covid future.

Federal judge blocks vaccine mandate for NYC teachers

Students are dismissed from the first day of school at PS 133 in Brooklyn on Sept. 13. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

A federal appeals court judge on Friday temporarily blocked New York City schools from enforcing a vaccine mandate for school employees, days before it was set to take effect, AP reports.

Driving the news: The vaccine mandate was set to begin on Monday, prompting concerns over staffing shortages in schools across the nation's largest school system.