Former President Donald Trump’s administration is notable for its addition of three justices to the U.S. Supreme Court — the most of any president since Richard Nixon.
As one top Republican recently suggested, Democrats who are hoping that President Joe Biden will make some appointments of his own are likely to be disappointed.
“We’ll have to wait and see what happens”
According to The Hill, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) provided his stance on the issue during a recent radio interview with host Hugh Hewitt, describing his intention to block Democratic nominees ahead of the 2024 election if his party wins back a majority in next year’s midterm elections.
“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,” he said.
In fact, he left open the possibility that even a nominee advanced in 2023 might not receive a vote.
“We’ll have to wait and see what happens,” McConnell said.
Of course, the rhetoric led to outrage among progressive critics online, with some calling on liberal Justice Stephen Breyer to step down from the bench while Democrats still hold a slim majority.
“Another blockade against Supreme Court nominees”
MSNBC producer Steve Benen expressed such a sentiment on Twitter, writing: “For the love of all that is good in the world, is Stephen Breyer listening to Mitch McConnell talk about plans for another blockade against Supreme Court nominees?”
For his part, Breyer reportedly said last week that he has hesitations about retiring in response to the growing pressure for him to do so, fearing that the move would be interpreted as blatantly partisan.
If McConnell is successful in holding any vacancy open until the 2024 presidential race, it would likely make the Supreme Court a top election issue.
Trump on a platform promising to reshape the federal judiciary, and a review of his term by Pew Research revealed that he had considerable success in that regard.
According to that report, he appointed 54 federal appellate judges — or only one shy of the number appointed by President Barack Obama during two four-year terms.