By Bronte Price, PoliticKING
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) told Chuck Todd of Meet The Press, that Senate Republicans plan to confirm President Obama's Supreme Court nominee if it starts to looks like they are going to lose the presidential election.
After the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, President Obama nominated moderate judge Merrick Garland to be the replacement. Todd questioned the Senator about his meeting with Garland during their interview on Monday.
“You’re one of the few Republicans that met with the president Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, you called him a “man of accomplishment,” and somebody with a quote, “keen intellect.” But you also believe that you want to wait for the election,” Todd said. “You think the voters should have a say in this before dealing with the Supreme Court vacancy. Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee, have you changed your mind on that pledge?”
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“I think Republicans are more than justified in waiting,” Flake responded. “That is following both principle and precedent. But the principle is to have the most conservative, qualified jurists that we can have on the Supreme Court, not that the people ought to decide before the next election. I’ve never held that position,” he added.
Many people have speculated that the Republicans game plan has been that if they thought they were going to lose the presidential election they would rush to confirm President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. Sen. Flake confirmed this hypothesis during his interview with Todd.
“If we come to a point, I’ve said all along, where we’re going to lose the election, or we lose the election in November, then we ought to approve him quickly,” Flake said, adding, “Because I’m certain that he’ll be more conservative than a Hillary Clinton nomination comes January.”
Sen. Flake also confirmed that Sen. Mitch McConnell’s obstruction of Garland has nothing to do with the nominee or his qualifications. Instead, McConnell is obstructing Garland from a hearing because he is waiting to see if Trump will beat Hillary to become President. If that were to happen, Republicans would get to appoint and confirm the next Supreme Court justice.
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