May 29, 2019

Memory lane on Morning Joe:

MITCH McCONNELL: The decision the Senate announced weeks ago remains about a principle and not a person. The senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the nominee, the next president nominates, whoever that might be.


MODERATOR: If a Supreme Court justice was to die next year, what would you do?

McCONNELL: We'd fill it.

Calling it "the death of shame," Joe Scarborough said, "He thinks it's cute. It's not cute.

"There are consequences to all of this. There are actually young people who make it into politics that actually think being that cynical and, well, just inconsistent, some would say corrupt is the way you do things."

"If he didn't already, he'd given away the game with the smug look on his face. For people who couldn't hear the question, the question at a luncheon in Kentucky was, should a Supreme Court justice die next year, what will your position be on filling that spot? McConnell said, we would fill it.

"Explain why that's not necessarily the right answer."

"Well, obviously, in 2016, when Justice Scalia died, Merrick Garland was nominated by the president of the United States, President Obama, and Republicans in the Senate wouldn't even hold a hearing for him because it was an election year.

"Well, next year is an election year. McConnell is saying, in this case, we'd fill it."

"Mike, if you want to figure out why there's such cynicism in Washington from people who aren't rigidly Republican or rigidly Democratic, look at what's happened over the past decade when it comes to court appointees. First, Harry Reid blowing up the filibuster for federal judges. Republicans say, you will rue the day. Certainly, they did. McConnell moves it to blowing up the filibuster for Supreme Court justices. Then they take it a step further with Merrick Garland, which just basically says it doesn't -- if you're president of the United States, it just doesn't matter."

"There is no point. There is no more advise and consent, and years of rolling payback. Both parties going at one another. We will have payback when the Democrats, if they ever gain control of the Senate, will have payback, the Democrats to the Republicans. It's been going on now for at least 12 years, as I said. Steve, I don't know about you, I remember a functioning United States Senate. That no longer exists," Mike Barnicle said.

"I remember a functioning United States Senate," Steve Rattner agreed. "Before we go in the time capsule, they did another thing, repealing the 30-hour debate rule. It at least gave the Democrats a chance to slow this down and have this done in an orderly way. Now, McConnell in three hours can jam through any nominee he wants. The pace is accelerating."

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