Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has changed his tune on whether the Senate should fill a Supreme Court seat during an election year, The Hill reports.
Speaking at a luncheon in Kentucky, McConnell was asked by an attendee, “Should a Supreme Court justice die next year, what will your position be on filling that spot?”
The Kentucky lawmaker responded: “Oh, we’d fill it.”
McConnell in 2016 famously blocked Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. At the time, he said the White House was controlled by a Democrat – former President Barack Obama – and the Senate by Republicans.
Now, the Senate is controlled by Republicans, as is the White House – with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.
“I remember during the tax bill, people were agonizing over whether one part of the tax bill was permanent or not,” McConnell said Tuesday. “I said, ‘Look, the only way the tax bill is permanent depends on the next election. Because people have different views about taxes in the two parties and they approach it differently when they get in power.”
“What can’t be undone is a lifetime appointment to a young man or woman who believes in the quaint notion that the job of the judge is to follow the law,” he said. “That’s the most important thing we’ve done in the country, which cannot be undone.”