Speed Reads

kennedy retires

Chuck Schumer calls Mitch McConnell's rush to fill Supreme Court vacancy 'the absolute height of hypocrisy'

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) hasn't forgotten about Merrick Garland.

Right after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced that the upper chamber will vote to confirm outgoing Justice Anthony Kennedy's replacement before November's midterm elections, Schumer served him with a flashback.

Republican senators should "follow the rule they set in 2016 not to consider a Supreme Court justice in an election year," Schumer said on the Senate floor Wednesday. After all, McConnell repeatedly insisted that the next president should get to nominate the late Justice Antonin Scalia's replacement, and the next Senate should confirm them — declining to hold a hearing for Garland, former President Barack Obama's nominee, in the process.

"Millions of people are just months away from determining the senators who should confirm or reject the president's nominee, and their voices deserve to be heard now as McConnell thought they should deserve to be heard then," Schumer insisted. "Anything other than that would be the absolute height of hypocrisy."

Schumer has good reason for the snark: Kennedy's spot is "the most important Supreme Court vacancy for this country in at least a generation," he said Wednesday. Kennedy was a conservative-leaning swing vote on the court, but a President Trump-appointed conservative would likely spell big, potentially precedent-busting decisions from the high court on abortion rights and health care.