From APP president Frank Cannon’s op-ed in The Hill:
In my lifetime, I’ve never seen a politician place a more consequential wager (and win) than the one Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) did in 2016.
After Justice Antonin Scalia passed away that February, President Obama swiftly nominated Merrick Garland to take his place on the Supreme Court. Scalia, a solid conservative, would be replaced by a progressive, and the makeup of the Court would be decisively shifted in the left’s favor. The media and progressive activists lauded Garland’s credentials and urged McConnell to confirm him immediately.
McConnell understood that he had a choice to make. In Article II of the Constitution, the Senate is granted the authority to provide “advice and consent” to the president on judicial nominations. Perhaps in a slight to Senator Harry Reid, who had eliminated the judicial filibuster for non-Supreme Court judicial nominees in 2013 and made the process much more partisan, McConnell decided to strip Obama of the Senate’s “consent” and hold off on considering a Supreme Court nominee until after the presidential election.
McConnell drew fire from the media and outrage among pundits and activists on the left, but he held the line knowing the future of the Supreme Court — and the outcome of a number of issues conservatives cared deeply about, such as abortion, guns, and free speech — hung in the balance. His resolve helped drive incredible turnout among a Republican base that understood the election’s considerably high stakes. And based on exit polling, it is not an overstatement to say that McConnell’s decision to delay filling Scalia’s seat was a deciding factor in the election of President Trump.
Read the full op-ed here.