Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Monday insisted that he would block Democrats from appointing another Supreme Court justice if he can take back control of the Senate in 2022.
During an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, McConnell was asked about his earlier machinations that prevented Merrick Garland from joining the high court.
"The court and the Constitution would be in quicksand up to its neck if you had not taken the position you took five years ago and we do not have the court that we do today, where we're looking forward and not in fear at decisions this year and next," Hewitt told the Senate minority leader.
"I do think the issue you raised is the single most consequential thing that I've done in my time as majority leader in the Senate," McConnell explained.
"Would the rule that you applied in 2016 to the Scalia vacancy apply in 2024 to any vacancy that occurred?" Hewitt wondered.
"Well, I think if in the middle of a presidential election, you have a Senate of the opposite party of the president, you have to go back to the 1880s to the last time a vacancy was filled," McConnell said. "I think it's highly unlikely -- in fact, no, I don't think either party if it were different from the president, would confirm a Supreme Court nominee in the middle of an election."
McConnell went on to defend his decision to hold hearings for Amy Coney Barrett's nomination in 2020.
"We were of the same party as the president," he noted. "That's why we went ahead with it."