Both former President Bill Clinton and former first lady Hillary Clinton criticized the idea of trying to nominate a judge to the Supreme Court before the November election after Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.
“Well, of course, it’s superficially hypocritical call, isn’t it? I mean Mitch McConnell wouldn’t give President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, a hearing 10 months before the presidential election. And that meant we went a long time with eight judges on the court,” the former president told CNN on Sunday.
“This is what they do. I think that, you know, both for Sen. McConnell and President Trump, their first value is power and they’re trying to jam the courts with as many ideological judges as they can,” Clinton, a Democrat, added in the interview. Clinton appointed Ginsburg, a left-wing icon, to the court in 1993.
President Donald Trump on Saturday night said he will attempt to push through his nominee for the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he would honor that request on Friday evening, although he did not give details on a timeline.
“To be fair, there is a case to be made for the argument McConnell made that in the middle of a presidential season, you should give the voters a say, that’s what he said when it was 10 months away,” Bill Clinton said. “But when the shoe is on the other foot and he wants a judge, we’re fewer than 50 days away and that argument doesn’t cut any mustard. So … it’s going to further spread cynicism in our system and, you know, he said he wouldn’t do it.”
Meanwhile, in a separate interview, former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton also criticized the move to nominate a new judge.
“The decision that Senator McConnell made back in 2016 in the midst of that presidential election, but at a much earlier time when Justice Scalia unexpectedly passed away, is what should be the standard now,” she said in an interview. Clinton asserted that the GOP has to be held “to account” for their actions.
“But as you clearly heard, that is not what they are intending and it’s another blow to our institutions. Our institutions are being basically undermined by the lust for power, power for personal gain in the case of the president or power for institutional gain in the case of Mitch McConnell,” she alleged.
McConnell’s office has not responded to a request for comment.
Trump, who has appointed two Supreme Court justices, said that he is working for the American electorate.
“We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!,” he wrote on Twitter Saturday.