Disregarding multiple accusations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the former chief of staff for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) complained that Democrats are trying to get payback for the snub of Merrick Garland, an appointee of President Barack Obama who never even got a hearing.
With Kavanaugh buffeted my multiple assault accusations — to say nothing of being accused of perjuring himself during his Senate confirmation hearings — conservatives are attempting to rally the base by pushing back at the motives for opposing the conservative jurist.
Garland, the Chief Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on which Kavanaugh also sits, was nominated to fill the 2016 vacancy on the Supreme Court created by the death that February of Justice Antonin Scalia by President Obama.
However, McConnell declared the appointment dead on arrival, saying the next Supreme Court justice should be chosen by the winner of the 2016 election.
“Of course,” McConnell said at the time, “the American people should have a say in the court’s direction. It is a president’s constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court justice, and it is the Senate’s constitutional right to act as a check on the president and withhold its consent.”
Speaking with the New York Times, Josh Holmes, who previously served as chief of staff to McConnell, whined that Kavanaugh is collateral damage in a long-simmering war over how Garland was treated.
“Clearly, the ultimate goal of Senate Democrats is to avenge their perceived injustice of Merrick Garland,” lamented Holmes. “The only way to accomplish that is to burn the clock on this nomination by any means necessary in hopes that they win the majority in the Senate and deny President Trump an appointment for the next two years.”
According to blunt-talking Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, that is not such a bad idea.
“I think we’ve had those kinds of vacancies before, and we certainly had over a one-year vacancy with Merrick Garland,” she explained to Politico last week. “So the world does not come to an end because we don’t fill all of the nominees.”
You can read more about the fight over Kavanagh and how it may impact the 2018 midterms here.