At 83, Breyer is the oldest justice on the court, and one of three liberals. During an event in Bowling Green, Kentucky, reporters asked McConnell for his thoughts on Breyer's apparent retirement. "I'm afraid to put the cart before the horse," McConnell replied. "Justice Breyer has not yet made an official announcement. He's entitled to do that whenever he chooses to, and when he does that I'll have a response on his long and distinguished career."
Following the February 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia, McConnell — then Senate majority leader — famously blocked former President Barack Obama from filling the vacancy, claiming that because the election was nine months away, it should be up to the next president. This time around, Democrats have control of the Senate, and if the entire caucus votes for President Biden's nominee, there won't be any need for GOP support.
A reporter asked McConnell if Senate Republicans will still try to find a way to block Biden's nominee, a question he dodged. "We don't know who the nominee is yet, so that's [a decision] the president has an opportunity to make should there be a vacancy," McConnell said. "And Justice Breyer will determine when and if there's a vacancy."