The McConnell-Ginsburg Rule?
WASHINGTON — When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was released from the hospital last weekend after another in a string of health scares, blue America breathed a sigh of relief. Only one more month, many whispered, until the start of a presidential election year when filling a vacancy on the Supreme Court would be off limits in the Senate.
But would it?https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/29/us/politics/senate-supreme-court-garland.html
30 days from today is New Years Eve, then 2020. There is a train of thought that suggests the Republicans have 30 days left to hope that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg retires or in some other way is rendered unable to continue on the Court. According to recent precedent, the proper thing to do during a presidential election year is to delay the naming and confirmation of a replacement to the high court until the voters have selected a president in November. In 2016 President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court seat of Anton Scalia, who had suddenly passed away. Mitch McConnell and the Republicans in the Senate would not allow hearings or a vote on Garland's nomination, using the justification that the voters should have a say on who the replacement SC Justice should be through their choice for president.
Not too many people had a concrete understanding of what should happen, mainly because it was not a situation that had arisen much before in US history. So McConnell iron fisted his way to success with his scheme, and Garland's nomination withered away until it was dropped when a new president took office.
What will happen if there is a Supreme Court opening in 2020? Would it surprise you to learn that prominent Republicans and conservatives are suggesting that McConnell should ignore his own "Garland rule" and confirm such a nominee as would be presented to them by Trump?
Although McConnell is on record as having justified his treatment of Garland by saying that the voters should decide on which president will nominate a new SC Justice when the opening comes up in an election year, it is expected he would ignore his own argument and jam a Trump nominee through on the "reasoning" that , in this case, the same party holds the Senate and the White House, which was not the case in 2016.
It is difficult to see what that has to do with justifying going against his own precept that the voters should have their say, but McConnell is not big on needing to justify his actions logically.