Politics McConnell Says 'Highly Unlikely' GOP Majority Selects Biden SCOTUS Pick in 2024 As Liberals Push Breyer Retirement
Justice Stephen Breyer refuses to give Left what it wants as Supreme Court term ends
If Justice Stephen Breyer plans to retire this summer, he’s waiting until the very end of the Supreme Court’s term to make that announcement. © Provided by Washington Examiner Breyer, who has given no public indication of his plans, has reached the month at which many recent retiring justices have stepped aside. And the longer he stays on the bench, the harder Democrats push him to leave. The rationale, according to both activists and elected officials, is that Breyer should step aside as quickly as possible while Democrats still control the Senate.
Senator Minority Leadersuggested Monday that if were to retake the chamber, they'd likely block President from filling a vacancy.
Speaking to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, McConnell said it would be "highly unlikely" that a Republican-ledwould allow Biden to put a new justice on the high court in 2024—the year the next presidential race will take place.
AOC: I'm 'inclined to say yes' that Justice Stephen Breyer should retire at the end of the Supreme Court's current term
"I believe that we should protect our Supreme Court, and that that should absolutely be a consideration," Ocasio-Cortez told CNN.During an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, Ocasio-Cortez was asked whether she agreed with comments made earlier this year by her colleague, New York Rep. Mondaire Jones, who called on Breyer to retire.
"In fact, no, I don't think either party if it controlled, if it were different from the president, would confirm a Supreme Court nominee in the middle of an election," McConnell told Hewitt.
The Republican leader was asked if a GOP majority would take the same route in 2024 as it did in 2016 when it blocked President's nomination of to fill the seat vacated by late Justice Antonin Scalia.
The GOP abandoned its own precedent last year when Presidentfilled the vacancy left by the death of Justice just months before the November election.
"What was different in 2020 was we were of the same party as the president," McConnell said Monday.
Hewitt then asked McConnell if a Supreme Court justice were to retire in 2023, and there are 18 months before the presidential election, would a Biden nominee get "a fair shot at a hearing?"
'Wait and see': A GOP-controlled Senate might not fill a 2023 Supreme Court vacancy
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he may not allow the Senate to vote on a Supreme Court nominee a full 18 months before the 2024 election if he is the majority leader and a high court vacancy occurs. © Provided by Washington Examiner McConnell, appearing on Hugh Hewitt's radio show Monday, hedged when Hewitt suggested that a Republican majority might be willing to bring up a Democratic high court nominee in mid-2023 if President Joe Biden selects “a normal, mainstream liberal.” “We’ll have to wait and see what happens,” the Kentucky Republican said.
"Well, we'd have to wait and see what happens," the Kentucky senator responded.
McConnell's remarks come amid a push from liberals for Justice Stephen Breyer to retire whenhave the advantage in the 50-50 split Senate. Breyer, who was appointed to the bench by President in 1994, is now the oldest judge on the bench.
The "Breyer Retire" effort was launched by the group Demand Justice in April to push the 82-year-old justice to step down so Biden can appoint the first Black woman to the court.
Mondaire Jones, a Democratic congressman from New York, was one of the first lawmakers to call on Breyer to abdicate his seat so the party could place a younger liberal on the bench.
"There's no question that Justice Breyer, for whom I have great respect, should retire at the end of this term. My goodness, have we not learned our lesson?" Jones told Cheddar News in April.
McConnell: GOP-controlled Senate would block a Supreme Court nominee before 2024 election
Republican Senate Minority Leader McConnell implied that a GOP-controlled Senate would not confirm a Biden Supreme Court nominee in 2024.The Kentucky senator told conservative talk radio show host Hugh Hewitt that he would oppose a confirmation because, he says, it is not typical for a Senate of the opposite party of the president to confirm a nominee during an election year.
When asked about whether Breyer should step down before 2024, New York Representativesaid Sunday she would "probably lean towards 'yes.'"
"I would give more thought to it, but I'm inclined to say yes," Ocasio-Cortez told's State of the Union.
But the White House said in April that Biden wouldn't pressure Breyer to retire.
"He believes that's a decision Justice Breyer will make when he decides it's time to no longer serve on the Supreme Court," press secretarytold reporters.
Newsweek reached out to the White House for a response to McConnell's remarks, but didn't receive a response before publication.
Byron York's Daily Memo: Democratic SCOTUS anxiety sky-high .
Welcome to Byron York's Daily Memo newsletter.DEMOCRATIC SCOTUS ANXIETY SKY-HIGH. Many Democrats are hoping that 82-year-old Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire soon in order to give President Biden a chance to replace him while the Senate is under effective Democratic control. (Democrats do not control a majority of Senate seats -- it is tied, 50-50 -- but Vice President Kamala Harris can break ties in the party's favor.