The Hypocrisies of Senator Mitch McConnell



United States Supreme Court Building

The sudden passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg rocked the nation on September 18th. Thousands of Americans mourned the loss of this incredible woman and feminist icon. However, some were more keen to look at the possible political advantages of her death in the hyperpartisan environment of 2020. Senator Mitch McConnell put out a statement concerning the appointment of a new Supreme Court Justice that was frankly hypocritical. 

In his statement given on September 18th, he gives his condolences to Justice Ginsburg’s family and friends but goes on to say that the privilege of nominating a new Supreme Court Justice leader would be given to President Trump. Upon closer inspection, McConnell’s previous actions in relation to choosing a new Supreme Court reveal insincerity.

 Back in 2016, Justice Antonin Scalia unfortunately passed away. President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to be the next Supreme Court Justice. Mitch McConnell interfered, arguing that, since the American people elected a Republican-majority Senate in 2014, President Obama had no business choosing the next Supreme Court Justice. This set the precedent that any nomination ahead of an election should be given to the next President elected by the American people. McConnell refuses to follow his own rules. His justification is that in 2018, the midterm elections resulted in a Republican-majority senate, indicating their support for President Trump’s policies. However, upon closer inspection, this argument falls apart.

McConnell’s argument in 2016 rested entirely on the fact that it was an election year, meaning that the next Supreme Court Justice should be nominated by “the people.” In a statement given in an op-ed in 2016 he says, “Given that we are in the midst of the presidential election process, we believe that the American people should seize the opportunity to weigh in on whom they trust to nominate the next person for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.” 

This argument is entirely different than the one given in 2020. He asserts here that the next President is only picking the Supreme Court Justice because of the timely circumstances of Justice Scalia’s death; he never says that the Senate had anything to do with the choice of the next Justice. Some believe he refuses to accept his past statement because of Trump’s uncertain status in the polls. According to Five-thirty eight, as of September 28th, Biden is ahead by 7.0 percent in the general election. In a democracy based on laws and rules, consistency in the application of such is essential. McConnell’s hypocrisy undermines the high standards to which we should all hold ourselves to.

The political and social climate has never made people more divided as election day nears closer. As we look into our choice for the Presidency, we must remember to critique the people who are being put in charge, especially if they display the same hypocritical characteristics that previous officials had.