Mitch McConnell Beats Rick Scott in Republican Senate Leadership Fight
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was once again out of the public spotlight on Monday as the Republican-controlled chamber voted to confirm three judges to the Supreme Court.
McConnell’s office said the Kentucky Republican cast a ceremonial vote to confirm David Stras, Elaine Duke and Michael Kanagaw. He spoke briefly about the confirmation process.
“This body and its members are on a solemn mission to protect the right to life of every person born in the United States,” McConnell said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the leader of the Vermont delegation, blasted the nomination of three conservative justices to the Supreme Court.
“Mitch McConnell made a big deal about getting rid of all that ‘judicial activists,’ so that’s great, except he’s giving those same judicial activists the opportunity to control the Supreme Court — which is what they want,” Sanders said.
McConnell’s comments were his first public comments since he announced his retirement from the Senate in February, one day after the new Senate Leadership Council, which includes McConnell, announced its selection of former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, of the Senate Conservatives Fund, to serve as its chair. Since they took over, Republicans have taken control of the Senate, with 55 votes to the Democrats’ 45.
The confirmation votes are separate from the upcoming Republican-controlled Senate agenda.
“It’s going to be a very different kind of Senate now,” said Sen. John Kennedy, the New York Democrat who chairs the Senate’s judiciary committee.
With the confirmation votes completed, McConnell could choose from a range of other nominees, such as a vacancy for a district court judge in the northern District of Georgia, or a prosecutor in Alabama.
One of the GOP senators whose vote was needed for confirmation for the judges is Democrat Amy Klobuchar, who recently announced her support for a tax on carbon emissions.