Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that Republicans will not accept any Democratic efforts to block a Supreme Court nominee chosen by President-elect Trump.
“Apparently there’s yet a new standard now to not confirm a Supreme Court nominee at all,” McConnell said. “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’s remarks come after nearly 10 months of Senate Republican opposition to the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland, the federal appeals court judge nominated by President Obama in March 2016. Senate Republicans have refused to hold a hearing or vote on Garland’s nomination, arguing that the opening should be filled by the next president.
Speaking on Capitol Hill Wednesday alongside Vice President-elect Mike Pence, McConnell responded to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s statement that Democrats would not accept on a Supreme Court nominee they wouldn’t approve of.
“We’re not going to settle on a Supreme Court nominee,” Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Tuesday. “If they don’t appoint someone who’s really good, we’re gonna oppose him tooth and nail.”
In his MSNBC appearance, Schumer said he doubted Trump would ever choose a candidate Democrats would support.
“It’s hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump chooses that would get Republican support that we could support,” Schumer said.
In his remarks Wednesday, McConnell accused Schumer of instituting an “expansion of the Biden rule”—a reference to a 1992 speech given by then-Senator Joe Biden arguing that any Supreme Court opening should be filled after that year’s presidential election. Republicans have used Biden’s 1992 speech to justify their block on Garland’s nomination.