Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) issued a warning to Democrats on Wednesday, one day after the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland expired without any Senate action: Don’t consider staging a similar blockade on any of President-elect Donald Trump’s high court nominees.
“I think that’s something the American people simply will not tolerate and we’ll be looking forward to receiving a Supreme Court nomination and moving forward on it,” McConnell told reporters.
Schumer said on Wednesday that Democrats would oppose any “out-of-the-mainstream” Trump nominees — perhaps a nod to Garland, who was as mainstream a candidate as President Barack Obama could have offered.
McConnell’s admonition that the American public may not put up with prolonged Democratic obstruction is curious in light of his own plan to not lift a finger on any of Obama’s nominees ― a plan he shrewdly came up with on the day Justice Antonin Scalia died last February.
The only trump card Democrats in the Senate have now that they’re in the minority is the 60-vote threshold for moving forward with a vote on Supreme Court nominees. If they play hardball with McConnell, even that might go in this next Congress.