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GOP senator on hypocrisy charges: Majority in power does what it wants

The Hill logo The Hill 9/27/2020 Zack Budryk
John Kennedy wearing a suit and tie: GOP senator on hypocrisy charges: Majority in power does what it wants © Greg Nash GOP senator on hypocrisy charges: Majority in power does what it wants

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) defended the Republican Senate majority's decision to proceed with a Supreme Court nomination weeks before Election Day pointing to provisions in the Constitution that note filling such a vacancy is "unaffected by the electoral calendar."

Asked by "Fox News Sunday" guest host Brit Hume about the charges by Democrats of hypocrisy over the Senate GOP's blocking of President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016, Kennedy said the chamber's majority had the power to set its own agenda.

"On both sides there's been a lot of circumlocution and attempted Churchillian rhetoric about the precedent to be followed during an election year to fill a vacancy," Kennedy said. "When the Democrats are in charge of the process, they do what they think is right ... when the Republicans are in charge of the process, they do what they think is right."

Pressed by Hume on whether this was a case of "shoe-on-the-other foot syndrome," Kennedy responded "Sure, absolutely, and that's why I say in Washington, you have to watch what people do, not what they say."

"I don't think there's ever been another instance where when the Democrats were in charge, they didn't do what they wanted," he added. "If the shoe were on the other foot I can assure you [Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer [D-N.Y.] would do what the Republicans are doing right now ... If you don't believe that you probably peaked in high school."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), despite blocking Garland's nomination in 2016, has said the Senate will vote on President Trump's nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg due in part to the White House and Senate being controlled by the same political party. Trump formally nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Saturday.

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