A former U.S. senator had some harsh words for current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whom she served alongside before she left the legislative chamber.
Claire McCaskill, a Democrat who lost a re-election bid to her Senate seat in her home state of Missouri, voiced a critical tone toward McConnell after it was revealed earlier this week that he would gladly agree to fill a vacant seat on the Supreme Court with a judicial nomination from President Donald Trump should a justice retire or die during the 2020 election year.
During a luncheon in Paducah, Kentucky, an attendee asked, “Should a Supreme Court justice die next year, what will your position be on filling that spot?”
“Oh, we’d fill it,” McConnell said, drawing laughter from the crowd, according to CNN.
McConnell’s words have been deemed hypocritical by many on social media. The Majority Leader famously blocked former President Barack Obama’s judicial appointment Merrick Garland when a vacancy arose on the court before the 2016 presidential election.
McConnell cited the importance of having the American people vote for the next president before allowing confirmation hearings to proceed, resulting in Garland never receiving a vote from the Judiciary Committee, on the matter, let alone a full Senate vote for confirmation.
Mitch McConnell refused to confirm Barack Obama's Supreme Court selection in 2016. McConnell argued that during an election year, Americans should choose a new POTUS to fill the position.
If a SCOTUS position opens in 2020, McConnell says he will fill the position.
— HillReporter.com (@HillReporter) May 29, 2019
After his comments, a spokesperson for McConnell later explained that the Senator’s conditions in 2016 only applied because the Senate was held by the opposing party of the president at the time. Because the Senate and the White House is held by the same, Republican Party now, those conditions are not the same as before.
McCaskill wasn’t having it. The former senator, who is now an MSNBC contributor, blasted her former colleague on the network.
“He’s a jerk. You know, he’s just a jerk. How dare he?” McCaskill said, according to a report from Raw Story.
McCaskill also took issue with those who laughed at McConnell’s hypocrisy.
“You think it is funny that he denies the Constitution, you know, spits on the Constitution?” she asked rhetorically. She went on:
“There’s nothing in the Constitution that says you don’t fill a seat because it’s the year the president’s getting elected. He knew that when he did it. He is so brazen. If the people of Kentucky think this hypocrisy is acceptable, I feel for them.”