News & Politics

Lindsey Graham Says a Supreme Court Vacancy in 2020 Would Be 'a Different Circumstance' Than Merrick Garland

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of President Donald Trump's chief GOP allies, says he will introduce a resolution condemning the Democratic-controlled House for pursuing a "closed door, illegitimate impeachment inquiry," during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington,Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. The non-binding resolution by the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman gives Senate Republicans a chance to show support for the president at a moment when Trump is urging his allies to get tougher and fight harder for him. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Liberals everywhere must be furious over recent comments by Senator Lindsey Graham that, should a Supreme Court vacancy occur in 2020, the Senate would indeed take up the nomination, arguing that the circumstances are different from when Republicans blocked President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016.

Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, argued that since the Senate and the White House are both held by Republicans, the Senate could take up the confirmation.

“Well, Merrick Garland was a different situation. You had the president of one party nominating, and you had the Senate in the hands of the other party,” Graham explained in an interview on “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren,” which will air Sunday. “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.”

“If you look into the history of the country, there had not been an occasion where somebody was confirmed in a presidential election year after primary started when you had divided government,” Graham added.

Democrats are still sour over the blocking of Merrick Garland in 2016, and would certainly have a fit if a vacancy occurred this year and proceeded with the nomination to fill that vacancy.

Even if there isn’t a Supreme Court vacancy this year, Graham has said that the Senate will get back to work at confirming judges once they’re back in session. “My motto for the year is leave no vacancy behind. That hasn’t changed,” Graham said last month.

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Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis