Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is up for reelection in Kentucky in 2020, and his new ad features the Republican power broker bragging about one of his most extreme violations of precedent and Constitutional norms yet.
The video replays the aftermath of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia near the end of President Barack Obama’s last term. When Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland — by all accounts, a moderate and accomplished jurist — to fill Scalia’s place, the majority leader refused to ever take up a vote on his nomination. After Trump was elected, McConnell blew up the Senate filibuster for Supreme Court nominations to ram through the controversial appointment of Neil Gorsuch.
This power grab has only risen partisan tensions in the country and raised the furor around every Supreme Court nomination. It also drove a push in the Democratic Party for expanding the Supreme Court to dilute the perceived ill-gotten influence of the conservatives.
The fact that McConnell chose to focus on this breach of norms as a selling point for his candidacy shows just how cynical and snide he is. So too does the fact that, as one Twitter user pointed out, McConnell’s campaign website used a picture of Garland as his “404 error” page.
Watch the video below