Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) admitted that Senate Republicans plan to confirm President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee if it looks like they are going to lose the presidential election.
You’re one of the few Republicans that met with the president Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, you called him a “man of accomplishment,” and somebody with a quote, “keen intellect.” But you also believe that you want to wait for the election. You think the voters should have a say in this before dealing with the Supreme Court vacancy. Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee, have you changed your mind on that pledge?
SENATOR JEFF FLAKE:
I think Republicans are more than justified in waiting. That is following both principle and precedent. But the principle is to have the most conservative, qualified jurists that we can have on the Supreme Court, not that the people ought to decide before the next election. I’ve never held that position.
If we come to a point, I’ve said all along, where we’re going to lose the election, or we lose the election in November, then we ought to approve him quickly. Because I’m certain that he’ll be more conservative than a Hillary Clinton nomination comes January.
The game plan for Republicans has always been that if they lose the presidential election, they will rush to confirm President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. Sen. Flake confirmed what almost everyone already knew was true. The cat is out of the bag now. If Donald Trump loses to Hillary Clinton, Mitch McConnell is going to use the lame-duck session of the Senate to push through a confirmation vote on Merrick Garland.
McConnell will move especially fast if Democrats win back control of the Senate.
Sen. Flake confirmed that McConnell’s obstruction of Garland has nothing to do with the nominee or his qualifications. Sen. McConnell is obstructing Garland because he is holding out hope that Trump will win the White House, and Republicans will get to appoint and confirm the next Supreme Court justice. With this possibility looking less likely by the minute, Senate Republicans are already talking about finally doing their jobs because they are afraid of who Hillary Clinton might nominate.
In other words, Senate Republicans are vowing not to do their jobs until after they have lost the election.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association