Lindsey Graham Says Senate Will Confirm Supreme Court Justice This Year If There’s A Vacancy

Lindsey Graham said the Republican-led Senate would work to confirm a Supreme Court nominee this year should a vacancy arise. The senator from South Carolina reportedly added that the situation is different from the Merrick Garland issue that occurred during President Barack Obama’s final year in office, according to The Hill.

Republicans blocked Garland from confirmation in 2016, specifically pointing to it being an election year as the reason. This time around, Graham said the situation is different because it’s a Republican president and a Republican majority in the Senate.

“You had the president of one party nominating, and you had the Senate in the hands of the other party. A situation where you’ve got them both would be different. I don’t want to speculate, but I think appointing judges is a high priority for me in 2020,” Graham said in an interview on Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren set to air on Sunday.

Graham added there had not been an instance where a Supreme Court justice was confirmed in a divided government in the country’s history. The argument is slightly different from the ones Republicans were making in 2016. That year, Graham and others argued the incoming president should be allowed to chose the nominee.

Republicans added their argument would be the same whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton won the 2016 presidential election.

Judicial nominations have been a hot-button issue between Democrats and Republicans for years, according to Raw Story. In recent weeks, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear he wanted to ram through several judicial nominees.

Politico recently reported that McConnell and other Republicans also made it clear he wanted to fill a Supreme Court seat in 2020 if one becomes open. He made those comments knowing there are some political analysts who believe the Democrats could win a majority of seats in November’s election.

“If you thought the Kavanaugh hearing was contentious this would probably be that on steroids,” said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. “Nevertheless, if the president makes a nomination then it’s our responsibility to take it up.”

John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, told the site he had no doubt the Senate would work to fill any vacancy.

“With Justice Scalia… people might not have thought he was the one because he wasn’t the oldest at the time. You just never know.”

Graham’s comments about filling a Supreme Court seat in 2020 is a reversal from just two years ago. In 2018, the South Carolina senator said if an opening came up in an election year, he’d advocate for waiting until the following year.

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