“The loss of Americans’ trust in these institutions can be permanent,” he said. “So, before we go on, we should turn off the cameras, shut down the Senate, and talk face-to-face about what that might mean for the country.”
The Republicans did not want any such discussion. He voted within minutes to reopen the proceedings and proceed with considering Judge Barrett.
Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas said, “It’s just harassment.” “It’s not about substance.”
But to respond to Fuller, the architect of the Republican takeover of federal courts, Mr. McConnell, was left out. Sitting at his desk, stepping away from the cameras to speak directly to Republican members, he offered a selectively rotating history of the developing judicial nomination process in the Senate, leading to Democrats’ rejection of a conservative nominee, Robert Bork, in 1987.
Mr. McConnell argued that the decision to block Judge Garland was consistent with history and was therefore a decision to confirm Judge Barrett because now, by contrast, a single party controls the White House and Senate. Democrats see the Garland blockade as a serious escalation from where the Chamber has not recovered.
“It’s not spin.” This is fact, ”said Mr. McConnell. Quoting Democrats, he said: “Every new rise, every new step, every new shattering precedent, every one of them started there. no exception.”
In an indication of how toxic the relationship between the two leaders had become, four years after Mr. Schumer assumed his leadership, Mr. McConnell suggested that his counterpart was only snapping what he had sown.
“I hope our colleague from New York is happy with what he has built,” Mr. McConnell said. “I hope he is happy where his ingenuity has gained the Senate.”