U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks at the Paducah Chamber luncheon at Walker Hall, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Paducah, Ky. (Ellen O'Nan/The Paducah Sun via AP)

McConnell: 'We'd fill' any Supreme Court vacancy in 2020

May 29, 2019 - 5:51 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell says that if a vacancy occurs on the Supreme Court during next year's election cycle the chamber would likely confirm a GOP nominee selected by President Donald Trump.

In an appearance in Paducah Tuesday, McConnell told a questioner asking what would happen if a Supreme Court Justice died next year, creating a vacancy, "Oh, we'd fill it."

Three years ago, during President Barack Obama's term, McConnell orchestrated a blockade of Obama's choice of Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy created with the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia. McConnell said then the choice should be left to voters in an election year.

McConnell's change of heart is sure to draw attacks from Democrats still smarting from his success in cementing the high court's conservative majority.