WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he expects the upper chamber to confirm President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, by fall.
“We’ll work our way through the process. We believe it’s possible to handle this nomination fully by the fall,” McConnell (R-Ky.) said at a news conference on Tuesday that was preceded by a meeting with Kavanaugh and Vice President Mike Pence.
When asked if the consideration of Kavanaugh’s nomination prior to November’s midterm elections is hypocritical in light of the GOP’s refusal to have considered the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the high court months before the 2016 presidential election, McConnell said it is not.
“We know if the shoe was on the other foot, if this was a Republican president sending a nomination up to a Democratic Senate in the middle of a presidential election year; they would not have acted,” he said.
President Barack Obama nominated Garland on March 16, 2016, eight months before the presidential election on Nov. 8, 2016.
McConnell said there is nothing unusual about the consideration of Supreme Court nominees during off-year elections.
Trump announced Kavanaugh’s nomination at a White House news conference on Monday night.
Kavanaugh, 53, sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. President George W. Bush appointed him in 2006.
The nominee likely faces a contentious confirmation battle.
Republicans occupy 51 Senate seats. Democrats occupy 49 seats. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is battling brain cancer and has been absent since last December.
Hours before Kavanaugh’s appointment, some Democrats said they would not support any of the candidates on a White House list of 25 names preapproved by the conservative Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society.