Mitch McConnell refuses to give up. Despite President Obama moving forward and nominating Merrick Garland to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, the Kentucky Senator is sticking to his guns, literally in this case, and insisting on blocking Garland as the nominee. In an interview with Fox News Sunday this morning, McConnell told host Chris Wallace that a new Supreme Court justice must have the approval of the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Wallace specifically asked McConnell if, should Hillary Clinton become president, he would consider the nomination of Merrick Garland. McConnell told Wallace:
‘I can’t imagine that a Republican majority in the United States Senate would want to confirm, in a lame duck session, a nominee opposed by the National Rifle Association and the National Federation of Independent Businesses [NFIB].’
He continued, saying that he doesn’t think the Senate “would want to confirm a judge that would move the court dramatically to the left. That’s not gonna happen.”
Ian Millhiser of ThinkProgress points out the flaws in McConnell’s reasoning. First, Millhiser points out that McConnell’s primary reason for blocking the nominee, that the vacancy should not be filled until a new President is elected, is undermined by this new reason because “it’s unlikely that the NRA or the NFIB will change their position on a nominee just because Hillary Clinton is president and not Barack Obama.”
Millhiser also explains the two right-wing organizations that McConnell thinks should have control over approving the Supreme Court nominees. The NFIB has fought hard against both the Affordable Care Act and raising the minimum wage. The NRA is well-known for its opposition to gun safety laws. The group, and therefore McConnell, oppose Garland’s nomination because of two cases, Parker v. District of Columbia and National Rifle Association v. Reno, in which Garland’s decisions did not fall strongly in favor of the NRA.
Despite these two cases, Garland’s gun record is still too small to make a truly informed opinion. Millhiser describes it as follows: “It consists of Garland’s single vote to rehear a case that one of his court’s most conservative members also voted to rehear, along with a decision to allow the FBI to continue to perform audits on the background check system after lawmakers sympathetic to the NRA tried and failed to shut those audits down.”
It seems McConnell is grasping at straws trying to back up his position. He wants people to believe he is justified, but, in reality, he’s just acting like a child, offering flawed logic and tantrums in the hopes of getting his way. And people are starting to see through his childish behavior.
Watch McConnell’s response to Wallace below, courtesy of Igor Volsky via YouTube.
Featured image is a screenshot from the video.