Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is open to filling a seat on the Supreme Court if one opens up this year, a move in sharp contrast to his decision to block President Barack Obama’s nominee to the high court following Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in 2016.
“I’m not aware of any vacancy, but if you’re asking me a hypothetical about whether this Republican Senate would confirm a member of the Supreme Court to a vacancy they created this year, we would fill it,” McConnell told Bret Baier during an appearance on Fox News on Thursday night.
“The Senate is of the same party as the president of the United States and in that situation, we would confirm,” he added.
Obama in 2016 was poised to nominate Scalia’s successor, Judge Merrick Garland until McConnell blocked the move – he would not even hold a hearing – arguing the Senate and presidency belonged to different parties.
Trump later appointed conservative Neil Gorsuch. On “Special Report,” McConnell said the difference between now and three years ago is the White House and Senate are controlled by Republicans.