McConnell Has a Request for Veteran Federal Judges: Please Quit

Mar 16, 2020 · 567 comments
mike splawn (murphy nc)
Draconian law by draconian judges will be ignored. See California and New York.
Barbara (SC)
My message to judges: please don't quit. We need you more than ever, especially if you are well-qualified, experienced and fair. Presumably McConnell is focusing on "conservative" judges so that he can put more conservative judges into place for the long haul. But what we need are moderate and liberal judges who will not allow politics to sway their judgment.
susan (nyc)
McConnell is a perfect example as to why we need term limits in Congress.
Ann Toner (Middletown,NY)
Please, let people like Mitch take their own advice. He is not working for the American people; he is working for his own selfish purposes
Jerry (El paso, tx)
Better for the political health of the country if McConnell quits.
dave (NE)
Democratic Capitalism -- helping the rich get richer for 200 years
Keith (Merced)
i hope the good people of Kentucky retire McConnell in November.
Caitlin Thomas (NYC)
Despicable! Taking advantage of a health crisis to make shady political maneuvers is so shockingly awful, even from this guy. Can we shame him to the point of "canceling"? Giving his challenger what's left of my money!
Susan (Washington, DC)
What an interesting change of heart. When President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, McConnell claimed it was too close to the election to honor the choice. Let the voters decide, he said. Now, apparently, the choice is too important (to the GOP) to be left to the voters. Proof once again that the Republicans can't win unless they lie and cheat.
David (Louisiana)
What liberals don’t like to remember is the fact that the Republicans were in the majority in the Senate in 2016. So Merrick Garland would not have been confirmed if he had been given a vote. So move on.
JVG (San Rafael)
Could Mitch McConnell possibly do more than he already has to politicize the courts. I don't think so.
LJMerr (Taos, NM)
Mitch McConnell represents the worst of what someone who gains power can become: ultra-partisan, selfish, greedy, and willing to take advantage of any loophole to cheat the system. We will be well shot of him in November.
Louis Russ (35204)
Sounds like they don't want Equal, Fair & Impartial Justice ??? They want Partial Justice that always benefits Republicans ???
M. P. Prabhakaran (New York City)
I wonder whether Republican Senator John Cornyn had Justice Kennedy in mind when he said that federal judges wouldn’t succumb to pressures to retire “Unless they see some benefit to themselves.” The cheap tactic Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has resorted to now is eerily similar to what Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley did in 2018. McConnell's hypocrisy is appalling. The reason he gave in 2016 for his refusal to hold Senate confirmation hearings on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, was that a retiring president shouldn't be nominating someone to the court in an election year. In the election year 2020, he is shamelessly encouraging elderly federal judges to retire soon so he could replace them with Trump's favorite picks. There is no guarantee that the Republican Party will be occupying the White House and be in majority in the Senate after the 2020 election. McConnell is very much aware of that. Hence his efforts to create vacancies in federal courts so he could fill them with Trump nominees before the election. McConnell will continue to massage Trump’s ego as long as his wife enjoys a position in the Trump cabinet. And Trump will continue to nominate to the courts those who are recommended by the Federalist Society and others on the right, even if some of the nominees are of questionable morality. Alas, the casualty here is the independence of the judiciary, the envy of the rest of the world until recently.
Dave H (NY)
McConnell has done more to undermine our American Democracy than any other 20th Century person.
Neil (Boston Metro)
Are we, astounding, being forced to think of changing a basic tenant of our judicial system — that Supreme Court Judges serve for life, the reason for which is to protect the country from one president stacking the the courts with his current personal thugs for 50+ years?! This is more evil from the Republicans to serve a most short-sighted agenda. This is not in America’s interest. This is not what our neighbors, our soldiers fought and died for over 2 centuries. Will the Republicans topple this ever-precarious balance of trust!?
Enrique Puertos (Cleveland, Georgia)
My request to Mitch Mcconell, one of the earliest inhabitants of the swamp, is that he quit first. The audacity of such a statement goes to the heart of the problem with politics and career politicians.
Justin (Alien)
We should all be weary of the charlatans in the Senate. They are eroding the foundations of our republic and shaming democracy. This isn’t governance, it is rulership. Register to vote and get others to register as well.
CPlayer (Whidbey Island)
Republican abandonment of a Senate tradition allowing home-state senators to block circuit court picks puts the lie to Republican posture of small government/states rights, doesn't it?
violetsmart (Austin, TX)
I look at the trajectory of both McConnell and Grassley who have been ruthless and partisan, especially in the time of Trump when he took over their party. The president is pathological liar whose only interest is himself, so I wonder what they see in him to justify their behavior. Surely they are not taken in by the elaborate conspiracies invented by Devon Nunes et alia. So, why do they betray their party’s former foundational policies which Trump has trampled with his isolationinst MAGA? McConnell started under Obama when he denied a hearing to Obama’s appointee to the Supreme Court. He has continued hellbent with the appointment of manifestly unqualified men as judges. Apparently, with alll signs pointing to the exit of Trump, all that he asks of them is what? Unconditional loyalty to whom? Obviously uncaring of how history will treat them, do McConnell and Grassley ever question their behavior in the time of Trump?
ken G (bartlesville)
Every Trump judge needs to be removed
r mackinnon (concord, ma)
I have a similar request- for McConnell. Pleae quit.
An informed reader (NYC)
I thought Chief Justice Roberts said that there are no Obama judges or Trump judges. But then, he was also offended by Chuck Shumer's political payback statement, while remaining strangely silent when Brett Kavanaugh threatened the Democrats who were simply fulfilling their oversight function at his confirmation hearing.
Pinner Blinn (Boston)
When the courts start blatantly favoring religious imperatives in violation of the Constitution, what recourse will Americans have to restore our secular society?
AHW (Portland, OR)
I think I'm going to be ill. Even if this country is fortunate to achieve more balanced executive and legislative branches, the packing of the courts, exacerbated by McConnell's absurd request, will shape American society for decades to come.
Gregory West (Brandenburg, Ky.)
The Walter Cronkite Republican notes again that for twenty years the Republicans have ruthlessly exploited flawed elections in which they did not win the popular vote to impose the will of the minority of voters upon the rest of us. They also thwarted the intervening Democratic President and Congress who did win indisputable mandates at every opportunity. This particularly evident in the US Judiciary where it has been corrupted from the Supreme Court down with extremists and unqualified appointments. Chief Justice Roberts is only deluding himself when he claims there are no Bush, Obama or Trump Justices and judges.
Daniel Hudson (Ridgefield, CT)
mcConnell's hypocrisy is so immense and so obvious that it hardly matters. he and his supporters just don't care. they don't feel the need out of conscience nor guilt nor politics to defend it. they know it, I know it; we all know it.
David (Texas)
I think it's interesting that people who hate guns (and mostly refuse to have them around) are calling for revolution... you don't know how to hunt, you don't know how to live off the land... do you think that walmart is still going to be open if there's a civil war? Just drive to the gas station and pick up some twinkies on your way to the front lines? You can't grow a garden in asphalt.... pure foolish thinking... what you folks need to do is try to learn how to communicate and get along.. stop no-platforming people who have different opinions, stop calling everyone names for disagreeing with you... and please stop always being the victim. Ps. There's no such thing as micro-aggressions... #texasdoesntcareaboutyourfeelings
Tom (Bluffton SC)
So I wonder what Ruth Bader Ginsberg thinks about this promoting of resignations of veteran judges for political purposes? And what is the comment from John Roberts who declared there were "no Obama judges or Trump judges" The Republicans and Conservatives are just asking for a revolution in this country.
Jills (Ballwin)
@Tom hahaha...Chief Justice Roberts is a GOP Operative masquerading as a judge. He is probably making the follow up calls to ensure the judges retire. Surely The Federalist Society is also slipping them some money too.
David Grant (Kankakee IL)
@Tom "The Republicans and Conservatives are just asking for a revolution in this country." Asking! Republicans have been perpetrating a revolution on this country.
David J (NJ)
@Tom ,as Ivanka didn’t know the meaning of complicit, Roberts didn’t know the meaning of preside.
Dr. Conde (Medford, MA.)
I have a request for Mitch McConnell. Please Resign. Please abort your full scale assault on American values, fairness, and the rule of law. Please take your snake oil back to Kentucky. Please remember that if you totally corrupt the Judiciary through rule changes, the next Democratic administration may choose to do the same, may refuse to negotiate, may legislate a woman's right to choose instead of using the courts, may do many things you consider foul. What next? Even stupid Americans have noticed how an administration of cronies has been totally ineffective in a national emergency, and only those unfired holdovers, like Anthony Fauci, have been able to stand up to the incompetence of Trump and McConnell. You're already denying food stamps to the hungry during a national emergency. Now you want to manufacture forced births in a recession as an election pander. Go home already, man. Resign. Have you no shame.
Scotty (Atlanta, Ga.)
No shame.
Leslie Duval (New Jersey)
McConnell is a fool for thinking that we all forgot about his "policy" about no new federal judge appointments of any kind in an election year. McConnell is the kind of corrupt politician with no sense of the kind of leadership it takes to run this country; rather like his boss. They both give the term "swamp" a very bad name...
Pigtown Design (Baltimore)
Just when I thought Mitch McConnell couldn't sink any lower, he has. After the Merrick Garland fiasco, which I thought was scraping the bottom of the barrel, this comes along.
Maggie (Rochester NY)
Oh, but wait! It’s an election year and aren’t they supposed to wait until after the election to appoint new judges?
Sierra (Maryland)
Our country is in the middle of the worst health and economic crisis it has ever faced in modern times and this political pettiness is what occupies our Senate Majority Leader? May God require and answer of his soul as people continue to die from this virus.
anniegt (Massachusetts)
Has there ever been a more morally/ethically bankrupt politician? I don't count the Person in the WH as a politician, he's a carnival barker (no offense to carnival barkers). Maybe Gingrich, but McConnell has certainly been the nadir (or is it the apex?) of Republican nastiness. Here's hoping we can flip the Senate in 2020, because this country is not going to survive another 4 years with a majority-R Senate.
Dave (New Jersey)
We have serious public health crisis, and this is what's important to McConnell.
Mike (Down East Carolina)
It's a sound political move no different from Ruth Bader Ginsberg being preserved like Lenin. The retired judges will be replaced by youthful conservative judges who'll lead by Rule of Law. Actually, the judges wouldn't be an issue if Congress (both parties) would get up off their collective behinds and legislate. But no, legislating has political risk that neither party is willing to accept. There's less Congressional risk in adjudication than legislation, plain and simple.
larry (new york)
Please, judges. Pay no attention to that evil man behind the curtain! Obvious is McConnell's blatant attempt to continue stacking the courts with right-wing sycophants before the current administration falls. Don't facilitate his nefarious plan.
Nikola Tasev (Bulgaria)
Since they saw they could not achieve their goals by democratic means, Conservatives abandoned democracy. Progressives, on the other hand, thought they could keep bipartisanship alive by rewarding bad behavior with good behavior, fight scorched earth war with free hugs. The US is a failed democracy. Too bad. It was a fine example while it lasted. Now it is an example of what not to do.
JFM (Hartford)
What happened to 'the people get to decide in an election year' mitch? Are you the only 'people' who count?
s.chubin (Geneva)
Every time the country needs to come together and show some sense of solidarity and community, McConnell demonstrates his true affiliations and priorities.It beggars belief that such person can be in a position of authority.( But then Trump....)
Lewis Sternberg (Ottawa, ON.)
It seems that the litmus test for judicial competence is now the McConnell/Republican test and not juris prudence.
Republi-con (Michigan)
We're in the middle of potential Armageddon and THIS is his focus? Glad Republicans have our best interests at heart.
Kat (Mi)
I wish he would take his own advice.
David Stonehill, Attorney-at-Law (Cincinnati, OH)
I thought that judges weren't to be confirmed in an election year.
JMM (Ballston Lake, NY)
None of this is surprising. This is ALL the Republican party has ever cared about. That and tax cuts for their donors. How ironic that they embraced a CRIMINAL and later acquitted a CRIMINAL to control the wheels of “justice.”. What is all the more galling is they’re doing this while my family’s entire life is in chaos, thanks to this virus and their party’s relentless incompetence. The rigging of the courts, the inanity of the EC, right wing media and the utter stupidity of 45% of Americans have destroyed the country my father fought for and my immigrant mother loved.
John (Chicago)
McConnell got some nerve to tell judges if they are considering retiring to quit so he and the Republican controlled senate can fill those spots this year. McConnell should be concerned about his Senate seat more so than anything else. As Trump would say, Bigly.
James Murphy (Providence Forge, Virginia)
And while he's pushing for their retirement, he should include himself. A more useless, divisive individual it would be hard to find.
Glenn Thomas (Earth)
I'm an atheist but I think there just may be a devil. What else could explain McConnell?
June (Charleston)
When and if the Democrats ever gain power again they must use it! The Democrats are too spineless to use power during the short time periods they have it. They need to slash and burn everything the GOP built. Impeach judges, open investigations, change rules, change laws, fight for power. The GOP has been relentless in accumulating power while the Democrats are far too timid worrying about the GOP and the voters.
Gary W (Lawrenceville, NJ)
I believe that one day when historians discribe how American democracy failed, they will trace it to hyperpartenship of Mich McConnell. He does not care about what the American people want, he cares only about what he wants.
Vinnie K (NJ)
I have a request for McConnell: resign immediately
Joe (Chicago)
Mitch McConnell is spineless, unethical, and characterless. He could not care less about thousands of people potentially dying in this country by an ever growing pandemic. He only cares that when things get back to "normal," the GOP can continue their persecution of immigrants, the poor, and any other group they wish to marginalize for the benefit of their oligarchy.
rich (Westchester Co. NY)
I have a better idea: I think McConnell should heed his own advice and leave.
The newt (ohio)
McConnell: an old man out in the flood working furiously to stop the flow of history. That is a fool's errand, Mitch.
alan (MA)
This is the same Mitch McConnell who refused to even conduct confirmation hearings on a Supreme Court nominee.
pogopaws (N Bennington, Vermont)
The world is awash with a health crisis and rather than worry about that, indeed on the heels of the senate going home for the weekend rather than vote on the House COVID-19 bill, McConnell continues to be laser-focused on power-power-POWER. This is not only outrageous, it is dangerous.
Socrates (Athens)
I have a suggestion for McConnell...just quite!
PegnVA (Virginia)
It sounds like McConnell agrees Trump will not get re-elected.
LHH (London)
Wow, I have the same request for MCConnell himself!
armo (oakland, ca)
He should look n the mirror for an answer about who should retire.
Beachbum (Paris)
True conservative judges will remain firmly seated until the wild eyed, incompetent Senators leave office. The recent low level of the nominees and their scandalous behavior since they have been seated on the bench is enough to give heartburn and a desire for resistance to any true Republican.
Doctor B (White Plains, NY)
McConnell is a hypocrite. Under Obama, McConnell decided that February of an election year was too close to Election Day to permit any judicial nominees to be considered for confirmation. He ignored the fact that Obama was twice elected by wide popular vote margins, & dismissed the fact that Obama's moderate SCOTUS nominee, Merrick Garland, was as uncontroversial a choice as one could ever imagine (Garland was unanimously confirmed by the Senate when originally nominated to the DC District Court). Such a record should suggest that McConnell wants to avoid controversy over judicial nominations, & clearly wouldn't want to try to confirm any nominees in an Election year. Wrong! As it turns out, McConnell has one set of rules for a Republican president, but a completely different set of rules when a Democrat is POTUS. No, under Trump, McConnell goes to extraordinary lengths to push through the nominations of people rated as "Unqualified" by the American Bar Assoc. All of a sudden, McConnell not only thinks that confirming a whole slew of judges in an election year is fine, but he actively solicits judges to retire now in order to permit confirmation of their replacements during an election year. This despite the fact that these nominees are made by a POTUS who lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes & is widely regarded as an illegitimate POTUS who only won the election with the help of Russian meddling. This attempt at court packing must be defeated.
Glenn Thomas (Earth)
@Doctor B At this point, there is only one recourse for Democrats and that is to expand the SCOTUS to bring in some balance their. Other method are available for addressing other imbalances.
EBurgett (CitizenoftheWorld)
Among the many things Moscow Mitch has done for the US is to tarnish the reputation of the US judiciary around the world. If the political leanings of American judges are so important, why should anyone think of the US as a genuine rule of law country? After all, aren't judges in Russia and China also picked for ideological purity and expected to take their marching orders from Dear Leader?
M. (Flagstaff, Arizona)
I feel the same way about veteran senators.
Tom - A retired American (Montréal, France)
This is dirty pool. My outrage is difficult to contain. Never in my lifetime did I expect to see our democracy sabotaged like Moscow Mitch and his allies have done. How do we stop this? November 2020 may come and go and it won’t matter because they have undermined the judiciary infrastructure.
AJ North (The West)
McConnell and his fellow travelers have been packing the federal bench with young hard-right ideologues, kleptocrats and theocrats at record speed to fill the historic number of vacancies they created after taking control of the Senate following the 2014 midterm — including one on the SCOTUS that by rights should have been occupied by Merrick Garland for three-plus years (all hand-picked by the Federalist Society & Heritage Foundation, with the imprimatur of such so-called "Christian" organizations as the Family Research Council and Focus On the Family — along with the likes of Franklin Graham & Jerry Fallwell, Jr.) — several of whom have been rated as "Not Qualified" by the ABA, with most of the rest not fit to preside over traffic court. Most will sit on the bench for well over a generation. At a minimum, should the Democrats regain the Oval Office and Senate next year, then the SCOTUS must be expanded (along with the federal appeals and district courts, which the vast majority of federal cases never proceed beyond) in order to restore the federal bench to a truly impartial, fair and secular judiciary grounded in evidence-based reality that treats the Constitution as a living document, interpreting it from a twenty-first-century perspective and represents the overwhelming majority of us Americans (as well as meeting the highest standards of the ABA) — not corporations, the obscenely wealthy and a highly-vocal minority of bigoted, hateful and demented religious zealots.
Mike B (Ridgewood, NJ)
McConnell's plan is to keep White Christian Men in power for as long as possible in a shrinking white American population by insuring the perpetuation of the Republican "brand" with predetermined outcomes in court cases encompassing gerrymandering, voter suppression, tax law, and social progress. These actions artificially skew the natural progress of our nation just because Mitch, that good old boy from Kentucky, doesn't like what he's seeing. Mitch has trampled on the Constitution and leaves no doubt that brave Americans, who have suffered and sacrificed in war, who have given the last full measure of devotion — have died in vain.
Mark Truslow (Towson Maryland)
Hopefully none of them will comply. Just what we need in this Country. More Judges with a bias toward and for “so called” President Trump.
Jude Parker Stevenson (Chicago, IL)
So hopefully these judges are not the partisan hacks of today and can politely reject McConnell's requests to replace them with people who have no experience and no business being on the bench!
Freonpsandoz (CA)
So much for the fiction that our judges are nonpartisan arbiters of the law and the Constitution.
Generous Lover (San Pedro)
Any judge who goes along with this needs to have their decisions reviewed.
David Nice (Pullman, Washington)
Perhaps Mr. McConnell should follow his own advice and consider retiring. He has done extraordinary damage to the US Senate as a legislative body. He doesn't negotiate or persuade; he simply sits on bills passed by the House. He apparently doesn't trust his Republican colleagues enough to let them work on legislation, with very rare exceptions.
Rocky (CT)
How about term limits for House and Senate members, as well as federal judges. The Founders carried little if any suspicion, I think, that elected members and confirmed judges could occupy their stations for 30 or 40 years.
Lisa Biesinger (Sindelfingen, Germany)
Term limits, term limits, term limits. No more than 20 years in office. For all judges. And, yes, that means that if you are appointed at the age of 35, you'll need a new job at 55.
MN Student (Minnesota)
I don't think there is any point in appointing anyone until later this year, nor do we need to fret about all the recent appointments. If things turn out the way experts predict, vacancies will be forthcoming.
vb (chicago)
Dear Mitch - please take your own advice and resign from the Senate. All of America will be better off without you. Thanks!
Dianna Jackson (Morro Bay, CA)
I hope the judges told him to take a hike.
Mark (McHenry)
Hey McConnell, why don’t you quit?
kkseattle (Seattle)
It’s amazing how many new uses Satan has found for the Senator who has delighted in representing the tobacco and coal industries that poison our children. Seven million fewer Americans have health insurance—thanks to the Republicans—as we hurtle into a pandemic. MAGA?
ebmem (Memphis, TN)
With respect to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, there are 11 justices not on semi retired status. One appointed by Bush Sr., one by Bush Jr, four by Obama, two by Trump and three by Clinton. Not mentioned is that when Obama appointed four judges to the DC court of appeals, two of the vacancies occurred during Bush Jr's presidency and Harry Reid prevented them from being confirmed. So if the two appointees by the Bush father and son were to retire, it would balance out the two appointees stolen from Bush by Reid/Obama.
Eric L. Peters (Glenwood, IL)
How does that balance with the SCOTUS appointment that McConnell stole from Obama?
Joe Culpepper (Marietta, Ga)
I don't yet think that Mitch McConnell wishes for or somehow facilitates someone's death. Nevertheless, I would not be surprised if he is currently monitoring judges who might have the coronavirus. I tend to think even Mitch would not be this callous. Still, it's chilling to even think such a thing might be a possibility. Similarly, I have wondered if Republicans overall will use the 'distraction' of the coronavirus to complete more of their agenda in anticipation that the country as a whole has begun to open their eyes to see the emperor has had no clothes since the day he took the oath of office.
Paul Cado (Yukon, Canada)
@Joe Culpepper They are probably that awful.
Michael N. Alexander (Lexington, Mass.)
McConnell just thumbed his nose at the Chief Justice, who claimed that there are not Republican judges or “Democrat” judges. He tore away all pretenses.
stu freeman (brooklyn)
The test of us have a request for Mitch McConnell: PLEASE quit!
Scott Jenkins (LA)
Him first.
CITIZEN (USA)
Instead, it is time for McConnell to resign or the voters to decide in November. He has too much power that is being abused. Remember, this is the same person who deprived an Obama nominee to the SCOTUS. The same person who wanted Obama to be a one term president. The same person who has stacks of Bills piled up on his desk, passed in the House. We are now speaking of the same McConnell who has left behind the Bill, passed in the House, to address issues on the coronavirus. While the whole country is worried and concerned, McConnell decides to go to Kentucky. His loyalty and responsibility to the people and country, are always on his terms.
CITIZEN (USA)
All those Judges should just stay on. It is not McConnell's place to decide who stays and who has to leave.
R In The West (WA)
My request for McConnell: please leave.
Alexis Adler (NYC)
This man is a traitor to our nation who has decided to unmake justice while not dealing with legislation.
Sari (NY)
Just another self-centered egoist who has racked up probably as many misdeeds as that one in the Oval Office. One would think he'd be just a little concerned about the Coronavirus. raging through the country. We shouldn't be surprised that he is so callous considering his record. Time for the whole lot of them to leave town. VOTE, VOTE, VOTE and REMEMBER the COLOR is BLUE.
ALLEN S. (Atlanta)
Yes, because there is an election coming up and it would a terrible thing if judges were chosen by the incumbent president instead of listening to the voice of the people as expressed in their choice of president and newly-elected members of the Senate. Funny...I think I heard that said that before somewhere...now where could that have come from?
Catalina (USA)
Mitch McConnell is so desperate to secure power for the Republicans that he doesn't care about the devastation threatening our nation, something that is sure to catapult Kentucky voters to the polls and dethrone this vile and wicked man. Vote Blue if we do end up having elections. It's a matter of national survival!
Catalina (USA)
This type of behavior is highly unethical and needs to be addressed. Mitch McConnell is obsessed with power and needs to be curtailed. He's becoming dangerous. His focus is not on the nation's well being. If there is any way to remove him, the powers that can, should for the sake of the nation. It's urgent.
Norman Getsinger (north carolina)
The Republicans have put party above country for a long time now. Hundreds of bills the House has sent over sit and rot, but they have all the time in the world to pressure judges to step down so they can install their zealots. Americans better wake up and vote them all out. If the Democrats can somehow win in November, they have to do something about the judicial system.
John Briggs (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
We need an Indira solution.
J.Santini (Berkeley, California)
@John Briggs agree 100pct, such as Nehru and Rajiv as well. Or a McCain result.
hen3ry (Westchester, NY)
McConnell is asking judges to quit so he can indulge in a bit of partisan justice? So he can ensure that this country is dragged back a century or more by conservative judicial activist judges? He should be ashamed of himself for his blatant solicitations. Or, better yet, he should resign himself since he's not exactly prime working age.
tomboll1 (Syracuse, NY)
It's as if he and Trump are competing to see who can do the most damage to this country.
Eileen Paroff (CHARLOTTE, NC)
Isn’t it inappropriate to nominate judges in the year a president is up for re-election. What happened to “Let the people decide, Mr. McConnell?
Angelo C (Elsewhere)
To McConnell: Why not set the example and quit yourself ?!!!
T3D (San Francisco)
McConnell is getting WAAAAAYYY too much like how Russia hands off power from one generation to the next: basically they don't.
tencato (Los angeles)
Veteran Federal Judges to McConnell: Please Quit
R-Star (San Francisco)
I have a request for McConnell: For the good of the nation, please quit. For the good of Kentucky, too.
Mark (Cleveland, OH)
This shallow soul somehow only cares about his principles.....in a time of uncertainty for everyone. Please, for the sake of humanity, vote him out of office.
MLE53 (NJ)
In the midst of this pandemic, it is comforting (HA!) to know that McConnell continues to ignore the best interests of the U.S. He is a poster boy for the horrible excesses of the Republican Party. If you are a decent, moral judge please hold your seat until competent judges can be selected to replace you. McConnell must go, along with the rest of the Republicans, what a truly deplorable group.
VandyAlum (Boston)
The author ponders “what, if anything” McConnell is offering Federal judges to retire. Time for McConnell to retire.
David J (NJ)
The Republicans have changed the power structure of the United States, from what was more or less of and by the people, to oligarchy run; over congress, for sure, the judiciary, and certainly the executive branch. Coronavirus proved the ineptitude of the oligarchy. Not for the people, until fear reaches them. The insular environment, most in the administration, have lived dulled their sensitivity to reality. I know that the administration fears the hinges are coming off under their control, or lack thereof.
DLH (CT)
It's ironic that this hits the press exactly 4 years after the Garland nomination, about which McConnell stated "The American people are perfectly capable of having their say on this issue, so let's give them a voice. Let's let the American people decide. The Senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the nominee the next president nominates, whoever that might be." Isn't the 2020 presidential election just as close now as the 2016 election was then? So in March 2016, the Republican leadership was supposedly respecting an upcoming election by deferring consideration of a judicial nomination, whereas in March 2020, the same group asserts that federal judges have until late summer or early fall to decide to resign with enough time for both nomination and Senate confirmation of replacements under the current President. Such malleable, self-serving logic is rank hypocrisy, surprisingly devoid of even a pretense of respect for the processes or institutions of government, much less the governed.
Termin L. Faze (NJ)
Would someone please come up with an effective ad to run against this guy. I’m thinking along the lines of a basset hound in the Charles Koch’s lap.
J (The Great Flyover)
Back in the 50’s there was a “duck and cover” civil defense film that we watched in junior high school. Bert the turtle was the cartoon CD guide as to how we should protect ourselves in the event of a Soviet nuclear attack. Every time I see McConnell...
Virginia (Idaho)
Mr. McConnell, I have a request for you: Please, please quit!!
Jessica (Arlington Va)
We're about to be ravaged by a virus, and this is what McConnell is dedicating his time to.
JMK (Tokyo)
A judge that actually had the integrity to serve as a judge would not consider accepting one of these postings under these circumstances. Gorsuch and Kavanaugh brought their own integrity into doubt by accepting postings offered to them by such a flagrantly corrupt administration and after the Merrick Garland debacle.
Richard Phelps (Flagstaff, AZ)
I wonder if it is possible that Mitch is concerned that perhaps, after the November elections, he, Trump, and the rest of the GOP may not be in control any longer? They have burned so many bridges trying to retain power, Democrats may actually have enough control to begin to make significant and important changes, including an end to gerrymandering, the electoral college, and voter suppression. It might even be possible to impeach some of these recent judicial appointees that are heavily biased towards Republican ideologies.
Addison Clark (Caribbean)
Liberals reap the whirlwind of the Bork disaster decades ago. Anyone who read the Antitrust Paradox by Bork would have agreed he had the smarts and temperament to sit on the high court. You did not have to agree with him to conclude he was qualified. Don’t complain now that the rules you put in play are being followed. I don’t want a raft of far-right judges. I want centrists. Sadly, short-sighted Dems of the 1980’s eliminated that possibility.
David Nice (Pullman, Washington)
@Addison Clark You should learn more about the history of our legal system, Mr. Clark. Public officials, parties, and interest groups have been wrangling over judges going at least as far back as the Thomas Jefferson administration. It wasn't invented during the Bork case.
DRS (New York)
Thank you Mitch. These judges will be our only bulwark against the coming liberal influx when we will be up to our neck in big government “programs.” Hopefully they can block much of the damage until the next sane administration.
Hope (SoCal, CA)
The corruption never ends.
Briget Horton (Raleigh, NC)
For the good of our country, why doesn’t he quit?
Keith (Lubbock, TX)
Shenanigans! This can't be normal, can it?
Termin L. Faze (NJ)
Somebody please come up with a great ad to run against this guy.
Roger Demuth (Portland, OR)
Perhaps McConnell should resign.
mcp (San Diego)
I did not think McConnell believed in appointing new judges so close to an election, or so he told Obama. The man has no shame.
Corvid19 (US)
Is there any chance that these election year judges could be recalled, impeached or otherwise removed? The whole point of these lifelong appointments is supposedly to put them above politics, and now their appointment is based purely on politics, whether or not they are fit for the bench. It would seem the simple fact that they were appointed by Trump would be sufficient cause to call them all into review.
J.S. (Northern California)
If anyone thinks America is a democracy, they're a fool. Here is our oligarchy in plain view.
NOTATE REDMOND (TEJAS)
JS, a note for you. An oligarchy is a government a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few. The word you want is KAKISTOCRACY: government by the worst persons; a form of government in which the worst persons are in power.
Silence Dogood (Texas)
My contempt for this man has just increased. What a despicable person he is. He doesn't want good, fair and honest judges, he only wants judges that he think will vote to his liking. Absolutely disgusting.
Rich (Delmar, NY)
What’s best for America is to ditch mitch😡
Richard (Savannah Georgia)
A dangerous virus has infected the U.S. Senate.
William (Memphis)
Blah blah. Smoking gun. Dead body. Wake up. The Senate GOP will NEVER remove or stop Trump. ALL OF THIS is about installing right-wing judges-for-life. The corrupt GOP needs Trump for that. Trump could nuke NYC and McConnell wouldn’t even blink.
D. Smith (Cleveland, Ohio)
What wonderful idea. Leave a lasting legacy of partisan taint to the federal judiciary by surrendering your seat to a fully vetted member of the Federalist Society with an ABA rating of unqualified. Heck of a way to end your judicial career. Thanks Mitch!
Doug Neely (Hampton, NH)
This, and at this time, is the most outrageous "suggestion" Mr. McConnell has come up up with. To have the audacity to make such a partisan, self-promoting statement is utterly disgraceful, from an expert politician already known for his disregard for proper procedure. He has created his own day infamy, to quote FDR after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This crowd of crooks who have no regard for legal procedure, protocol, or anything else resembling sanity should be removed next November.
Annie (MA)
Now I know what he was up to while the rest of the country is trying to figure out what a ‘new normal’ looks like. What a terrible, terrible excuse of a legislative leader and human being.
Ted Olson (Portland, Oregon)
Real tired of McConnell. Why doesn't he retire?
Howard (Omaha)
America has a request for Sen. McConnell: Quit.
J (Beckett)
Why doesn't McConnell hang it up? That would improve the country markedly.
MATTHEW ROSE (PARIS, FRANCE)
Hello Kentucky? Anyone there? Time to draw a curtain on the McConnell disaster. Boot him to the moon and return the House to someone who is rational, fair, honest and actually interested in justice. Plan: Call someone in Kentucky and let them know what McTurtle is doing – destroying the fabric of the country. And: Volunteer for Amy McGrath.
mikenola (nola)
will Democrats and Liberals ever truly understand that the courts are more important in the long-run? presidents get 8 years... Federal Judges get a lifetime appointment.
Mark Farr (San Francisco)
It's not polite to say it but, considering the record of the man in question, I think it's fine to speak plainly: Mitch McConnell is an old man who will probably be dead soon. And, when he is, history will remember him, forever, about as favorably as it has Strom Thurmond. Ouch.
I WANT NOTHING (or)
Further proof that the courts are a political branch; their vaunted "independent judiciary" is nothing more than a hollow conceit. That they tolerate being known as "liberal" or "conservative" judges shows that even they don't buy their own lies.
Dale Smith (Seattle, WA)
Nice, Mr. McConnell, nice. The country is in the grip of a massive crisis and you are playing games with Federal judges. Really? That's what's on your mind? How about getting a decent package to address the impacts of COVID-19 on the average person in the United States? Nope....you just want to play political games while others lose jobs, economic stability, and possibly their life.
DRS (New York)
Right, because the Senate can’t do two things at once..
Douglas (Denver)
It just seems that a lot of Republicans have no sense of democracy or fairness - it's just a win at all cost mentality. They want to gerrymander districts, restrict voter's rights and use any legislative maneuver they can find to steal elections. They fear losing power and will do whatever it takes to hang on as long as they can and I think - hope - that they will pay dearly for their shortsighted thinking. They have an "us against them" mentality and I hope that the Democrats have a long memory and make this polarizing minority a despised, antediluvian relic.
Robert Tolar (Ohio)
McConnell's actions are an attempt to under gird the very foundations of our American democracy! It's politically and ethically wrong! Let's ask... Why would one person (and party) go to such extremes? It has to do with pure hunger for power and control! The Republicans have strayed far from their political, ethical, and moral principles. The ones to suffer will be the American people seeking a fair judiciary process. "Make American Great Again?" Unfortunately, no. The present administration, and leaders, are making a "Take America to a new political low." What a heartache.
JCH (Wisconsin)
I thought judges were independent...or will they prove us wrong.
Edward V (No Income Tax, Florida)
It should be noted that Judge Griffith is eligible to retire under the "Rule of 80" provision. He will receive a pension equal to his salary of $216,400. He will likely join a law firm and receive a generous salary to supplement his pension. Just last year, a 2nd Circuit judge appointed by Clinton to the District Court and Obama to the appeals court retired a few months after taking Senior status at age 65 and now works at a law firm. Two checks are better than one!
CKM (Ann Arbor, MI)
What happened to "We can't elect judges during an election year. We have to let the voters decide." Yes, just like the budget, that only matters when Democrats are in office, apparently.
Paul Wells (Boulder, CO)
I thought that we shouldn’t confirm judges in election years, Mitch.
Maxy Green (Teslaville)
Just another chapter in Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao's empire of corruption saga.
Alison (California)
Thank you for exposing McConnell on this. The man is evil personified.
captain (ronk)
Veteran Federal Judges Have a Request for Mitch McConnell: Please Quit
CA John (Grass Valley, CA)
He should take his own advice.
Dean (NH)
@CA John best advise ever!
David (Gainesville, FL)
If I were a senior judge and thinking about retirement, I would be insulted that Senator McConnell thinks that I should be replaced with some conservative lapdog and quickly as well. Most judges who have attained that senior status would like to think of themselves as relatively politically neutral, I would think. Also, the thought of being replaced with someone with inadequate or no qualifications for the job would fill me with anger. Certainly the situation now that some of the nominees are just not qualified, except for lining up with the CPAC litmus tests. Demeaning to judges that have worked long and hard to maintain the rule of law, as written, not as the Trump administration would like it to be.
Steve Mills (Oregon)
A clear admission he knows retirement has blocked out his post-November calendar.
historyRepeated (Massachusetts)
McConnell is scared, bigly. He knows a loser when he sees one, and he’s trying to make as much hay as he can while the light shines and Trump can still grow it.
Judith Evers (Florida)
Let’s hope that many of these pre-Trump judges have more integrity than McConnell gives them credit for. They should realize by this time that their replacements will not be worthy of the positions they vacate.
Runabq (ABQ, NM)
So much for the independence of the Judiciary from political influence.
MIKEinNYC (NYC)
Senator McConnel is the poster boy for why we need term limits for legislators,,,, so that some legislator from over there, who I cannot vote for, does not make my life over here in NYC, miserable in perpetuity.
Andrew (Colorado Springs, CO)
So what's a liberal to do when s/he has no representation, when there's, say, a one in three chance of getting a trial with a liberal judge, and a two in three chance of getting any liberal laws struck down as unconstitutional? Whaaaaat's a liberal to do, if s/he is a second-class citizen for the foreseeable future? When the laws won't be a compromise between liberals and conservatives, but instead between conservatives and way-out conservatives? What's a liberal to do, when there's no recourse to the law? Hmmm. . . . I'd say we're likely to find out in the next couple of decades.
Glenn Thomas (Earth)
@Andrew No recourse to the law? Good luck overturning precedents set by Liberal courts. Tides turn...
Connie (Colorado)
Hey, why doesn't HE step down?!?
GB (NY)
Imagine if McConnell would use his rather extraordinary manipulative powers for good instead of evil. Imagine what he could do to bridge the gap between the two warring factions in our country. What he could accomplish to help people, to respect their views on how our country should be run, instead of bulldozing democracy for his own and his parties agenda. What could he accomplish if he woke up and realized he has devoted his life to unethical and undemocratic ideas that have marked him for history as an abomination against democracy?
JJ (USA)
McConnell is not a human being. He is a robot. Wind him up and watch him destroy peoples lives.
Peter (Canada)
Every competent veteran federal judge should do the exact opposite: stay the course until the Senate flips Democratic, otherwise their replacement will likely be inexperienced, unknowledgeable and incompetent. Kinda like Trump.
MDF (NYC)
The very definition of chutzpah!
John Gilday (Nevada)
Extremely important that President Trump be re-elected and that a Republican Senate be maintained. That will almost ensure an additional rational SCOTUS appointment and additional thoughtful and reasoning judges to the federal benches. With that America will finally be able to reverse or eliminate these ridiculous leftist laws we have been saddled with.
curious (Niagara Falls)
@John Gilday: I think it's been pretty well-established that "thoughtful and reasoning" has hardly been a priority as the Tweeter-in-Chief appointed incompetent sycophant after incompetent sycophant to one position after another. The bench is no exception. And now we are paying the price. Have you not seen the gong show over the last two weeks as Trump weaved and dodged at the realization that the virus didn't care what lies he told. That corpses can't dismissed as "fake" news? Didn't you notice the glares of hate he shot at the scientists and doctors who had the audacity to correct the misinformation that he had just spewed at yet another of his incoherent press briefings? The man whose idea of disease control is to keep the numbers "low" by just not counting sick people? Millions of Americans have had their lives put at risk by this "president" who values wishful-thinking, blind loyalty and the ability to lie with a straight face over any semblance of conscious, character or competence. Thousands will die as a consequence. And I very much doubt -- come November -- that people will be much in a mood to forgive and forget. Thank goodness!
Maxy Green (Teslaville)
@John Gilday Yep, reverse leftist laws like Free Press, Separation of Church and State, Emoluments, Clean Water and Air Acts, Voting Rights, Freedom From Religion...
SU (NY)
@Maxy Green You do not want clean water act: You want delicious DuPont PFOA water.
Jean Siao (Manhattan)
Gently but urgently requesting that Mitch retire and take his wife with him. The future of our country depends on his patriotic and immediate action.
lg (Montpelier, VT)
Ever selfless and compassionate. What a horrible human being.
WTig3ner (CA)
If I were a federal judge, McConnell's actions would offend me deeply. It would not matter whether I'd been appointed by a Republican or Democrat. Judges do not like the judiciary to be a political football. Few things can so quickly undermine the public's faith in and commitment to the rule of law. That, of course, is McConnell's object.
Ellen (New York)
Based on the McConnell Rule, you can't fill federal judicial vacancies in an election year. Isn't that right, Mitch? So, senior, experienced, and generally intelligent judges -- hang in there.
jas2200 (Carlsbad, CA)
Imagine how the Supreme Court would look if Hillary had been elected. Now imagine what it will look like it Trump gets reelected.
E Campbell (PA)
The headline should have read "Mitch McConnell, knowing Trump will be defeated in November, tries to jam as many judges in as possible before then" Fixed it for ya
Elizabeth (Masschusetts)
I always wonder though, what is the end game? What is Mcconnell's and his cronies vision for the USA? Besides their personal power, they supposedly think this will amount to a better country?? Lots of poor people running around with guns or martial law? One or the other or both? No middle class, race riots. Women in servitude, gays ambushed and killed. Now that sounds like dystopian soup!
dave (Mich)
Enough Democrats in Senate and start mass impeachment of judges. Judges are just politicians with robes on.
Maxy Green (Teslaville)
@dave "Some are disguised as Senators, others hidden in their judging robes." From Give Me Back My Country
mikenola (nola)
2 points mass impeachment is not legally possible republicans would just retaliate next time they gained power
LynnCalhoun (Phila)
Wow! What a coincidence! That is exactly my request for him.
Nico (South africa)
Mmm. Good luck. Stating the obvious: Trump will win again. Senate will stay republican. House will change to republican, after the deceit, hate and waste of tax dollars on a democratic rampage of stupidity and hate of the sitting president. Have fun.
JMK (Tokyo)
@Nico Then maybe we can get back to the kind of apartheid system that I’m guessing you feel nostalgic for. Great. But seriously, I’m a lot angrier about millions of tax dollars wasted for Donnie’s golf than I am about congresspeople doing their job and taking the ideas of separation of powers and checks and balances seriously.
chris (louisiana)
I have a request for Mitch McConnell: Please Quit
schtickyhickey (New York)
McDonnell should take his own advise. America and democracy would be far better for it!
Queenie (Henderson, NV)
A true Republican. Too bad he’s not a true patriot.
citybumpkin (Earth)
Of course he is. His Democratic opponents should have done more of the same during the 6 years when they controlled both the White House and the Senate. It is tiresome watching Republicans like McConnell play hardball while Democrats play wiffle ball.
Nic S (Toronto)
Mitch McConnell is an amoral monster, pure and simple. To advocate for qualified jurists to step aside during an international crisis is nothing less than Machiavellian cynicism at its worst. I hope the people of Kentucky find their moral compass and toss him on the trash heap...where he clearly belongs...as soon as possible.
Deutschmann (Midwest)
In January 2021, the Democrats need to start packing the federal courts beyond the ability of the white Christian nationalist GOP to swing the needle back in their direction at any time in the near future.
Kurt (Chicago)
The GOP has been whining about FDR’s efforts to pack the courts for eighty years! Well I guess they’re getting their revenge and then some. But going forward, no more complaining. They have made politicization of the courts the new normal. And while we’re at it, no more claiming to the party of fiscal discipline, or family values, or law and order, or national security.... The GOP has abandoned all that their party ever claimed to stand for. Now the only thing they stand for is greed power and spite.
BE THE ONE (San Diego)
I am not from Kentucky. I am not a registered Democrat. But, I just did contribute to McConnell's opponent in the upcoming election. Amy McGrath. Remember her name. It only takes $5 each to get McConnell out of office. Be. The. One.
BE THE ONE (San Diego)
This reminded me that I needed to make a donation to Amy McGrath--his opponent in the upcoming election,
Gail S (Nyc)
How dare he? I am a Democrat but I think the Republicans he has appointed should fill the terms given to them by the Constitution and the law of the land.
Mike (NY)
What about the McConnell Rule? In 2016 it was "let the people decide". I thought we didn't confirm judges in election years?
gpickard (Luxembourg)
While Mr. McConnell is clearly executing a sort of judicial putsch, he should recognize that his legal avenue to abuse his power was opened by his colleague Mr. Reid, who similarly, decided to take a short cut to an objective; that is, to seat judges that reflected his philosophical ambitions. What happens tomorrow when the shoe is on the other foot? Mr. McConnell's stratagem will haunt his party for decades. Man proposes but God disposes.
Donna V (United States)
This man has no shame does he? I hope Kentucky can oust him when they vote. Wouldn't that solve so many problems?
Robert (Out west)
Way to prioritize, Mitch.
Perry Brown (SLC, UT)
McConnell is the actual worst. We are in the midst of a national crisis, and he's thinking about ... court packing.
Tara (MI)
I think this is like the Joker, replacing all prosecutors and heads of police precincts, to get some tailor-made law & order.
BKB (RI)
Nasty piece of work, McConnell, politicizing the judiciary with impunity. It's too bad Justice Rogers is so pitifully weak, he says nothing. I'm looking forward to Trump's and McConnell's defeat, and a wave of new judges on the federal bench, maybe even the SC. I don't think there are nearly enough.
Kenneth (Las Vegas)
McConnell will go down as the worst Senate Leader in American History. First, he prevented any real economic improvement from 2010 to 2016 by refusing to pass any legislation while Obama was in office. Second, he prevented the orderly appointment of Supreme Court Justices. Third, he refused to stand up for Republican principles in the face of Donald Trump. Donald Trump worst President in American History. McConnell worst Senate leader. Good Job, Gentlemen.
eric (nj)
Looking forward to John Roberts' statement.
Country Girl (Missouri)
eric Right. I forgot about that. But I will not hold my breath.
Donna in Chicago (Chicago IL.)
Mr. McConnell, I pray you will be forced to step down in November. I will never forgive you for the damage you have wreaked on our country. God help your empty soul.
priceofcivilization (Houston)
No new judges in the last year of any presidency, Mitch.
Vic (Maryland)
McConnell: Please quit
Adrian Bennett (Mississippi)
Mitch McConnell , We, the people, think you should resign....now.
Paul Alan Levy (Washington, DC)
It appears that Senator McConnell does not agree with Justice Roberts that we don't have Republican judges or Democratic judges, just judges. Query whether the guarantee in Article III that judges shall receive "compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office," applies to senior judges or just to active judges. Could a future Congress, mindful of Senator McConnell's longstanding view that vacancies created during a presidential election year decide that judges who take senior status or even resign their judgeships during this particular presidential election year shall receive no salary, no pension, and no benefits?
maggie (Fl)
This is straight out of The West Wing . Jed Bartlett got to nominate a Supreme Court justice. he got to fix the SC makeup and - he was a liberal!
FW (West Virginia)
McConnell is no doubt an evil and vile man, but he certainly doesn’t act alone. Please note that these supposed impartial jurists are taking his phone calls.
sdmco (Colorado)
The right concocted the myth of activist judges so they could rationalize installing blatantly activist judges. Same thing with journalism. They abhor democratic institutions. Just imagine what they hope to do with packed courts regarding voting rights and gerrymandering.
mjb (nyc)
This from the man who kept a Supreme Court seat vacant for a year? If a judge retires now, I say keep the seat open until after the 2020 election. Hey, he set the precedent.
Climate Change (CA)
Mitch McConnell, a person elected from a backward state that fares poorly in economy, education and pretty much everything, populated by ignorant people, is leading the senate and setting the tone that the country will take for the foreseeable future. He likely represents the specimen that elected him but definitely not this country. This can’t be good.
Andy (Tucson)
A president in the last year of his term doesn’t get to fill judicial vacancies.
armondavid (Miami, Florida)
The solution is easy: It’s not as if the numbers of federal judges and of Supreme Court judges have not been increased before. The next president and Democratic Congress should increase the number of federal judges, including those in the Supreme Court tup to whatever number is required to undo McConnell’s blatant power move. Which included cutting President Obama’s constitutional term short, by refusing to accept any Supreme Court nominee following Justice Scalia’s death February 2016; and ending of filibusters and senatorial holds for Supreme Court justices. They who have already broken the consensus cannot now complain when others do whatever is needed to nullify their actions. Humpty Dumpty is already broken - there is no gluing it back together. Let Republicans yell and threaten as much as they want, but do it. And abolish legislation filibusters.
Neil (Texas)
”....Critics said the tactic by Mr. McConnell and other conservatives is inappropriate, ..” Well, if I remember RBG had been urged mightily by liberals to step down when Obama was in the White House. So, let's not be that one sided. And remember Souter waited to retire while W was still in power hoping a Democrat would succeed him. And Souter was a Reagan appointee - oh, well - never mind. I am of course rooting for 4 more years at least of this juggernaut to continue. And I know I will live to read that a Trump judge issued a cosmic ban against a federal policy of a sitting Democrat in the White House. Why have a majority - even if the slimmest one - if you can't pack the courts. Much is written about how Harry Reid was almost as controlling as LBJ. But he made a fatal mistake of unleashing that nuclear option of a simple majority for life time judges. And all he got was 5 or odd some inferior courts federal judges. We got 190 - plus two Big ones. And hopefully, more in the next 4 years.
Steve (NYC)
When the minority packs the courts, the majority just won’t listen to their rulings. Like Donald we will ignore, call SCOTUS illegitimate, called them fake courts etc. fake rulings etc.
curious (Niagara Falls)
@Neil: Really. Do you really think you saw Democratic obstructionism to this degree during the four years when Bush II was President but Democrats controlled the Senate? Don't think so. Both Roberts and Alito were given a fair hearing and judged competent by a large number of Senators from both parties. If only the same could be said for Merrick Garland. Anyway, be careful what you wish for. One doesn't have to be very imaginative to see -- say come 2021 or thereabouts -- a Democratic President and a Democratic-controlled Senate deciding that the Supreme Court really needs 11 justices. Those poor old folks are just so overworked, don't you know. McConnell dropped all semblance of due process -- much less fairness -- in 2017. In ice hockey parlance, he "dropped the gloves". For better or for worse, I strongly suspect that either side is going to be inclined to put them back on, anytime soon.
Jsvw14 (Maryland)
Hey, Mitch McConnell here’s my request for you: why don’t YOU resign? You and the party that kept this sociopath in office in order to preserve your agenda—you’ve done this. Amy McGrath just got $100: All I can afford as I’ve voluntarily cut my salary in half due to this fiasco. C19 would’ve been bad enough; C19 after the idiot you kept in office denied its danger all the way till last week is unforgivable. Hang out at MaraLago and then rot.
Arthur Wiggen (Ohio)
We are well within the Antonin Scalia window --and counting down -- when it becomes too close to a Presidential election to consider a nomination to the Supreme Court.
Quinn (Texas)
If they don't cheat, they can't continue to govern. It's that simple.
John Belniak (high falls, ny)
Of course, I read this article with great dismay but I've been following this judicial debacle/coup/travesty/whatever-you-want-to-call-it since long before we were blessed with Trump, so it was no surprise. The blame for this blatant miscarriage of justice is, at the end of the day, all on Mitch McConnell. I've always wondered what, deep down, motivated him to bitterly pervert the scales thusly. The NYT's lead picture choice once again solves the puzzle: Mitch's terrible, lie-long feelings of inadequacy because he could never grow a chin. Seems like a plausible explanation to me.
Think (Wisconsin)
We have discovered, in the past few years, many problematic areas within our government and related systems, thanks substantially to Donald Trump and his band of thieves and thugs. The expansive powers that the Senate majority leader has, obviously need to be curtailed. The proposed rules and laws to do that should be nicked named the MPF: "The McConnell Problem Fix".
Jon (Asbury Park)
We are within the window of denying a Garland hearing. What about waiting for the presidential election? The rank hypocrisy of McConnel in all ways is like Trump's lying out in the open and in plain sight.
Michael Tyndall (San Francisco)
While Trump will likely be gone soon, his most lasting legacy will be the crop of young, arch conservative, Federalist vetted judges he nominated. These folks are essentially right wing robots whose votes are already programmed. And Trump got to nominate them despite losing the popular vote, and despite the fact that Republican senators represent well less than half the citizenry. In fact, Trump almost certainly went so far as to cheat to win the election, and then obstructed justice to cover up his misdeeds. Under no circumstances should he be rewarded just for getting help from his BFF (best foreign friend) Vladimir and his criminal paramour payoffs. And all this after Mitch first crippled Obama's right to nominate replacements, with Merrick Garland only the most glaring example. And then he changed the rules to ease SCOTUS replacements who'd never reach a 60 vote threshold. There needs to be a reckoning after Trump leaves office. Whether that's enlargement of the federal court benches to dilute the political bias or more stringent hearings of those already appointed (like Thomas and Kavanaugh) as preludes to possible impeachment, a serious effort has to be made to balance the courts. They need to be much more representative of the population they provide justice for.
Marcus Taylor (California)
On January 20, 2009 Republican Leaders in Congress literally plotted to sabotage and undermine the U.S. Economy during President Obama's Inauguration. Present at the four hour meeting were 12 Republican law makers, Reps. Eric Cantor (Va.), Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Paul Ryan (Wis.), Pete Sessions (Texas), Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Pete Hoekstra (Mich.) and Dan Lungren (Calif.), along with Republican Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Ensign (Nev.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.). The non-lawmakers present included Newt Gingrich and Frank Luntz, the long-time Republican wordsmith. Jim DeMint's (R) comment made it clear: “Our goal is a complete gridlock for the next two years. There is no place for bi-partisanship, compromise, only acceptable outcome is total victory and any politician that disagrees will be treated as a traitor. This is war.” — Jim De Mint “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” ~ Mitch McConnell .... AND YOU REPUBLICANS THINK WE FORGOT ABOUT THIS ?
Dan (Baltimore)
The man for whom 13 months wasn't enough to even consider the nomination of Merrick Garland is now saying he can ram through appointments for vacancies occurring as late as "early fall." Infuriating at so many levels.
Shane Lynch (New Zealand)
If any new Federal Judge appointments come up, McConnell should "postpone" them until the next administration - after all, isn't that the precedent he set with Obama's nomination for SCOTUS? Or do precedents only go one way under the triumvirate of Trump, McConnell and Barr. But, on a brighter note, the Republican's must be unsure of victory this election if they are proposing all this. I just hope that the judges in question have some morals and ethics and refuse to co-operate. If they refuse to co-operate they would be the only Republicans with any spine and loyalty to the nation.
Steve (Painesville Oh)
Funny, that’s the request I have for Mitch.
jhanzel (Glenview)
From years ago, I knew Trump was drooling over the possibility of loading the SCOTUS with "his type". Especially looking at the fragility of Justice Ginsberg.
PeteG (Boise, ID)
I have a better idea. Why doesn't McConnell do us all a favor and quit tomorrow. It wouldn't be too soon, nor would it break many hearts.
A. Schnart (Northern Virginia)
Maybe the Democrats will finally recognize that the federal judges are and always have been the key to power and political control. For decades they foolishly have tried to install “moderate” judges believing that this approach was “fair” and would “make everybody happy.” It was and remains facially one of the dumbest political theories that anyone could pursue. The Republicans, understanding the importance of controlling the courts, did the exact opposite. As mirrored by what is ongoing under the current regime (in its most extreme manifestation), whenever in a position to do so, the Republicans have installed on the courts young, malleable Republican ideologues — a number of whom are rated “unqualified” by the ABA. Bizarrely, while the Democrats tried to pass socially valuable laws, they effectively abandoned the determination of the legality of these actions to the hands of Republican judicial appointees who as often as not continue to skew the logic of their rulings to fit their party line. If the Democrats have any sense, assuming they get power in 2020, they should not only do a McConnell and fill every open judicial seat with a young Democratic ideologues, but also expand the Circuits and SCOTUS to create additional openings they can fill to offset the current imbalance of political/judicial power. The old cliche, “what goes around, comes around,” is truly apropos.
Citizen (Richmond, Calif 94805)
I hope that Democrats have finally learned that republicans are unable to play fair, especially not the GOP of today
D. R-K (Missouri)
So many other concerns and this is where he puts effort, what a shame.
em (New York, NY)
I have a request for Senator McConnell: Please Quit.
Anthony Malivanek (Australia)
As an outsider looking in I hope enough Americans have the brains to realise that Trump and his army of sycophants is demolishing the democratic system. Just how far from a dictatorship is the US now. This is pretty scary. The world is watching in disbelief.
Fish Tate (San Francisco)
I am requesting Mitch resigns and Amy gets elected.
Maxy Green (Teslaville)
@Fish Tate Better yet, Mitch resigns and Amy gets ejected.
Jerry Sturdivant (Las Vegas)
The best way to beat this is to have a Democrat President and majority Democrat, filibuster-less, congress. Then make rock-solid laws. As in: All hospitals that receive federal money will provide abortion services. Ban and buyback of assault weapons. National gun registry. Well, you get the point; gut the Republican’s Judicial Appeals Courts powers.
Arthur (San Jose)
Message to Mitch: Please quit (otherwise we will vote you out).
Dan Barthel (Surprise AZ)
My advice would be the opposite. Hang in there guys.
Norman (Kingston)
Imagine asking a federal judge to step aside so a younger and "ideologically correct" party apparatchik can take your place? How degrading. Welcome to the Republican Party in the 21st century.
Carl (KS)
McConnell is even more out of touch than I thought, if he thinks any federal judges are going to retire from their highly paid sinecures just to cement his "legacy." Absolutely laughable.
dave levy (berthoud)
One has to wonder if Trump were to lose the election and shortly thereafter RBG had to leave the court would McConnell push her replacement thru the Senate before the new Senate, resident takes their oaths of office?
Mark B (Ottawa)
Funny, most of us would have the same request for McConnell himself: Please Quit.
bob (concord, ma)
If it's OK for the Republicans to do this, why would it not be OK for the Dems, once they take the Senate and the House in 2020, to not add two members to the Supreme Court?
Monica (Staten Island)
Absolutely disgusting.
Bob Jones (Lafayette, CA)
Mitch seems to sense his Useful Idiot is about to be voted out.
P Dunbar (CA)
How dare McConnell even mention this in the middle of this crisis when he has 400 bills on his desk he won't take to the floor of the senate for a vote? McConnell needs to pass the first level relief bill TONIGHT!!! What is wrong with this man?
Out Loud (California)
Mitch McConnell is the worst man in American politics.
Climatedoc (MA)
The legislature has no constitutional business trying to have federal judges resign so they can be replaced with conservative judges, many of whom are probably not qualified to be judges. Moscow Mitch is already showing the fear that republicans may not hold their majority in the Senate and the White House in the next election with this disgusting behavior. Especially him.
Grace (Bronx)
The Democrats have only their own Harry Reid to blame. As Wikipedia says: In November 2013, Senate Democrats led by Harry Reid used the nuclear option to eliminate the 60-vote rule on executive branch nominations and federal judicial appointments, but not for the Supreme Court.[1]
DM (Here)
@Grace We must stop the “what aboutism” and the blame game! In the midst of pandemic, with legislation on the docket (over 300 bills), Leader McConnell is focusing on loading the courts. Reprehensible and Harry Reid’s poor decision has nothing to do with McConnell trying to load the benches with more conservative judges! (In a side note, I use the ‘Leader’ title only to identify his position, NOT because he is leading in any way, shape or form). And, these judges? Take note of their restrictive beliefs and influence on our lives...once again, the majority will suffer from the judges.
Gerard Naddaf (Toronto)
If that isn't sounding the alarm, what is! The day of reckoning is finally coming!
Jesse (Hell's Kitchen, NYC)
Isn’t justice blind? Wouldn’t justice be the same no matter the political party of the judge? Guess that has been revealed to be a fallacy like the opportunities available “to all” if we all work hard and save our money for retirement.
QTCatch10 (NYC)
The irony here is that only judges who want to consciously enact a political agenda are likely to heed a call like this, and most of those judges are 45 years old or so and newly installed. The majority of the existing judiciary has no interest in ruining their own reputations and legacies by baldly politicizing their work.
KM (Fargo, Nd)
Here's a request. Sen McConnell please quit before you have destroyed the entire structure of our republic.
Billseng (Atlanta, GA)
Too bad Mitch. There’s an election coming in less than 11 months, so per your precedent, “the American People” should decide. Oh wait, you might be a hypocrite. That’s a problem.
Charlie in Maine. (Maine)
McConnell wants replacements to be confirmed resulting judgments to stop any advancement of society. Replacement Judges will strike down decisions simply because they DON'T LIKE the decisions from lower courts rather than based on case law.
Alice In Wonderland (Mill Valley, California)
Request to Mitch McConnell: Please quit! You are a disgrace.
Michael Stevens (Seattle)
As an American who still believes in democracy and government of the people, by the people and for the people, I think it would be splendid if itch McConnell would take his own advice. Don't go away mad, sir, just go away.
American2020 (USA)
There are occasions when I wish the NYTimes would allow us commenters to use foul language. This is one of those occasions.
JPFF (Washington DC)
There is a special place all ready and waiting for McConnell when he someday shuffles off this mortal coil, and heaven ain't it. Same goes for his buddies in the GOP.
Ron (Monroe, Michigan)
This crop of Repubs, led by this absolutely vile Mitch McConnell, has forever destroyed any positive thoughts I ever had, or will ever have, for Republicans.
Tom W (Cambridge Springs, PA)
As the fatality count rises from the mismanagement of the pandemic which is tearing into our country, it will grow more and more clear that the Republicans will lose the White House and control of the senate in November. The fact that we are very likely staring into a full-blown economic depression makes this possibility a near certainty. Efforts by the Republicans to prevent the incoming Democrats from effectively coping with the disaster Trump and McConnell leave behind them must be foiled. In these dark days, both of these unethical men must be quickly removed from office. The destruction and corruption Trump and McConnell have wrought cannot continue. Enough is enough! We cannot wait until January to rid ourselves of these two unprincipled scoundrels. By whatever mean necessary, in this time of national emergency, they must GO!
TJ Martin (Denver , CO)
I have a better suggestion for Mr McConnell . Do the Country a favor . Be a real patriot . Be True to the Constitution you pretend to uphold ... and resign .. from all politics
Paul (Phoenix, AZ)
Isn't this a form of bribery? And yet, with Roe and the ACA still on the line, as they have been in some cases for decades, Democrats are STILL unable to see the federal courts as an important enough issue. In 2016 only 37% of Democrats cited the courts as an important reason to vote for a candidate versus 55% of Republicans.
Tom W (Cambridge Springs, PA)
@Paul Perhaps this is because most Democrats embrace the (correct) concept of non-partisan judges and justices. The fact that a majority of Republicans view judicial appointments as a campaign issue reveals their lack of understanding of what the constitution refers to as an “independent judiciary.”
Eric (Ohio)
In the same spirit, let me take this opportunity to urge all Republican senators to quit. They do nothing so much as serve themselves and other wealthy Americans, and have, with their president, brought the nation to the divisive state we are in today—not to mention market declines and Coronavirus. None of them deserves permanent political oblivion more than McConnell. Support Amy McGrath for senator in KY!
dee (NYC)
Nope, sorry. Too close to an election to approve any federal judges. New rule, the Republicans like new rules, right?
Eben (Spinoza)
Seems like McConnell should extend his made-up rule and stop appointments of new judges in this last year of the Trump "Presidency." As he would lie, let the people decide! One day historians will discover the reason for this sorrow person's behavior -- and it won't be pretty.
KBronson (Louisiana)
“I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions,” Senator Charles Schumer Not THAT is inappropriate pressure. Discussing strategic retirement dates is not.
curious (Niagara Falls)
@KBronson: what pressure? He told the judges that they had made some mistakes and would come to regret them. Isn't that a Senator's job? A little over the top, perhaps, but nothing at all compared to the disgraceful treatment which McConnell served up to Merrick Garland.
Pathfox (Ohio)
I hope every judge over 50 sends his message to their circular file and and every non-convervativwejudge over 70+ vows to shuffle in, walker-in, wheel-in or even crawl in until Mitchell and Trump have gone to their fiery rewards :)
b fagan (chicago)
"McConnell Has a Request for Veteran Federal Judges: Please Quit" Why, what a coincidence! I was thinking the same about all of our Senate Majority Leaders.
Edward V (No Income Tax, Florida)
Some of the judges have served since the mid 1980's and wont be leaving except for their health. It is irrelevant who is the president. For these appeals court judges, its about them, and there is nothing wrong with that if they like working.
John (Nashville)
Federal judges: please ignore the majority leader and stay on the job. Isn't enough we're suffering Trump's presidency without making things even worse for years to come?
Lou Panico (Linden NJ)
Any sign the senate is taking up the House bill passed Friday? Any sign the senate is working on anything other than judges? Any sign of humanity in McConnell?
Peter Vander Arend (Pasadena, CA)
After everything our nation has had to endure from the cowardice and corrupt behavior of Mitch McConnell, the only person who should be stepping down, quitting, removing himself from anything which requires Rule of Law and the Honoring of the Constitution of the United States of America, it is Mitch McConnell must GO.
Scott Montgomery (Irvine)
This man is covered head-to-toe in swamp slime. Praying we take the White House and both houses in November. It's going to take a lot of work to return all the favors to La Tortuga, but it'll be a pleasure.
Michael (NJ)
Priorities.....what coronavirus? Or maybe's it's an admission that Trump might lose in November so speed it up even faster than they have already?
Tony G (Marion, VA)
This guy is the true villain of the last decade...Trump is an amateur compared to this guy. Pandemic and the Senate majority leader is just spending his time playing the same old partisan politics, packing the courts with partisan hacks. One can only hope that one of the few benefits of this disaster will be turning this guy and his buddy in the White House out to pasture.
Daniel Snydacker, Jr. (Southport, CT)
I have a request for McConnell: Please Quit. No, wait, forget the please. Quit immediately.
Laume (Chicago)
How dare he??!! Judges are supposed to be non-partisan.
Kate J (Salt Lake City, UT)
Mitch, Mitch, Mitch, have you looked at the roster of judges waiting for the committee to act? Looks like 48 pages with roughly 20 per page.... simple math says you have about 1000 qualified candidates already in the queue to review. Please take care of the backlog before you start soliciting more applications. https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/nominations/judicial
A reader (HUNTSVILLE)
Anthony McLeod Kennedy was asked to retire and he did. I am surprised more was not heard about this.
karen (bay are)
Kennedy made a deal with the very highest levels of tis country and the media since is intentional.
Jack (Missoula)
Shameless! McConnell continues to reach, reach, reach for ways to get what he wants, regardless of the cost to cherished American values (such as an independent and unbiased judicial system). This is an internal revolt against our way of government and he and his co-travellers need to be censured, impeached, jailed, or whatever they do to traitors. Are there no Republicans with an ounce of integrity?
Jim (California)
McConnell sees the end of the road as Trump spins himself into the ground and hopefully take the entire GOP with him. However, being the malign skunk he, McConnell is, he will leave his odor on the Federal Court system for decades to come. McConnell is attempting to finish the work begun by Reagan with St R's clarion cry "Government's not the answer, Government's the problem" ; a cry that was furthered by Gingrich, Norquist and Ralph Reed's Christian Family values group. It's taken 40 years to destroy what FDR, Truman and Eisenhower left, but the Republican party has persevered laser focused upon their three pillars: Greed, Fear mongering and entirely falaceous Christian values, to achieve their goal. Like the British Empire at the close of WW2, the Pax Americana and America has the guiding principle of democracy will soon be extinguished.
karen (bay are)
great post, but please add LBJ to your list of leaders who made 20th century America great for most of us.
Eben (Spinoza)
Given the "Me First" philosophy of the Conservative judiciary, don't expect many self-less resignations. However, Mitch McConnell should take his own advice so that he can be replaced with someone dedicated to the tradition conservative values of respect for the truth.
Ben (Florida)
So, it seems like Moscow Mitch doesn’t have a lot of faith in Trump’s chances of re-election! Already planning for defeat.
Del (SoCal)
With less than 10 months until the next president is selected, as per prior Republican logic, this is a decision which the newly elected president should oversee and not the incumbent one.
Sean Casey junior (Greensboro, NC)
I’m sure I’m not the first to say it here but I wish McConnell would follow his own advice. But let’s hope he’s right!
RBR (Santa Cruz, CA)
This man is all the evils of America put together. The Incarnation of pure disgusting evil...
Mtkailas (USA)
And I have a request for Senator McConnell. Please quit, you old codger. We need new blood in the Senate, hopefully blue blood.
Dan Broe (East Hampton NY)
How rich is this? Only four years ago, he withheld hearings for a vacant Supreme Court position on the basis that it should be filled by the next President.
The Scythe (USA)
The National Emergencies Act of 1976 gives Trump the authority to redirect un-obligated military funds to the construction of the border wall, which allows him to bypass Congress. Conservatizing the 9th circuit is the next step in the process of finally fortifying the southern border.
December (Concord, NH)
No, no, no. Any Republican picks for federal judgeships need to be Merrick Garlanded. Let the people decide.
gordon (nj)
Mitch McConnell is no longer going to be with us when this comes to bear. To those who which this is going to matter should remove him from the decision making process as soon as possible.
Barbara Snider (California)
Maybe Trump will give McConnell the medal of freedom, as he did Rush Limbaugh. Both stellar Americans.
Don Juan (Washington)
I have a request for Mitch McConnell -- please quit and don't let the door bump you on the way out.
DK (Boston)
Given the malicious incompetence of this republican administration and the McConnell whipped senate, all federal court appointees from this criminal administration should be immediately invalidated. And absolutely none permitted in 2020.
Kayemtee (Saratoga, New York)
If McConnell isn’t the Anti-Christ, he’s a pretty good substitute.
explorer08 (Denver CO)
McConnell is easily the most corrupt Senator of modern times. And, now, he goes for even more of a power grab. What a moral degenerate this person is!
Bill Brasky (USA)
Thanks once again to Bernie’s babies and bullies for staying home or voting for Jill Stein or trump. This abomination of a presidency is on you.
Bob (San Francisco, CA)
@Bill Brasky Oh, please stop! The establishment/Democratic Losership Council is as much responsible for Trumpie as the lefties. They just don't want to give up influence and power in the Dem Party. They keep backstabbing labor and working people in favor of Wall Street ; it is obvious that they'd rather lose to Trump than Sanders or Warren.
Bill Brasky (USA)
@Bob The number of Bernie to trump voters in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania far exceeded trump's margin of victory in each state. You want a revolution? Form your own party and stop being a free rider.
Lilo (Michigan)
@Bill Brasky If Clinton had run a mildly competent campaign and visited Wisconsin (at all) or Michigan (more frequently) as her Michigan campaign proxies BEGGED her to do. Trump would still be just another real estate conman with a weird fascination with his daughter's frame. Or Clinton could have run further to the left and picked up the voters she needed to win. But Clinton didn't. She thought she knew better. She thought that she was entitled, just as many establishment Democrats do. When they win, they shut out the left. When they lose, they blame the left. Democrats HATE their left leaning voters while Republicans coddle and pander to their right leaning voters. As far as Green voters, go they aren't Democrats. So it's a little much to expect that they would vote for Democrats.
E (LI)
Veteran Judges: Please hang in there.
KenF (Staten Island)
McConnell obviously hates the American system and does his level best to pervert it at every turn. His are the actions of a traitor. If he does not end up in jail, then the American system has truly failed.
Sean Casey junior (Greensboro, NC)
One thing you learn living in the south: traitors are honored with roads, schools, statues. So trump et al being traitors is not hard for people to swallow
Bob (San Francisco, CA)
@Sean Casey junior Well, that's refreshing. And that's what I like about the South.
Sean Casey junior (Greensboro, NC)
@bob perhaps we should erect a statue to Benedict Arnold?
BambooBlue (Illinois)
McConnell should join them.
Llewis (N Cal)
McConnell needs to quit or get the boot. He is probably on par with the Corona virus when it comes to damaging lives.
gb (Oregon)
Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell: The poster boys of evil incarnate.
Colleen (WA)
America has a request for McConnell: Please Quit!!!!
RAB (CO)
This guy just can't get enough - sick.
DawgDoc (Washington DC)
The writing (however illiterate in his case) is on the wall.
Paul (Ithaca)
I have a request for McConnell, but it wouldn't make it past the Comments Moderators.
Seymour (Kailua-Kona, Hawaii)
Was I the only one who Knew on election eve that the America of the greatest Generation was over. Trump is totally incompetent ,a cheat and loud mouth liar. Mitch has not changed over the years he has always been for Mitch and thought he was God. America is over .
Sofedup (San Francisco, CA)
Why don’t republicans stop wearing civilian clothes and begin wearing brown shirts - it would much more “fitting”
wryawry (the foothills of the headlands)
Contemptible, traitorous faux-keen gnash shoals gotta have their priorities.
M E R (NYC/MASS)
Judges who listen to Mitch tell them they will Have a ‘worthy successor’ if they retire now- how stupid does he think you are? They told Anthony Kennedy the same thing and we got spring break party boy Kavanaugh.
David Patrick Kelly (New York)
I would say to McConnell...please take your own advice
David (Major)
I have a request for veteran senators from Kentucky: step down
Mark Stave (Baltimore)
Memo To McConnell: You First
mkc (florida)
The face of evil.
Paul (Canada)
He’s a pathetic desperate old man incapable of accepting that society has changed and will always change. I am also an old man and I would NEVER want to go back to straight jacket of faux morality, bigotry and social segregation that typified my youth. He is also stupid to even imagine that the clock can be turned back.
Doremus Jessup (Moving On)
Mitch McConnell always looks like he’s searching for his chin.
Phil Carson (Denver)
This news is damning for McConnell because it reveals the depths of his cynicism on Trump. He can see -- most of us, too -- that Trump ain't long for the Oval Office. McConnell then will cram all the misbegotten ideologues he can find -- incompetence is no issue -- into our courts. For what? A last ditch effort to keep old white males in power. As a semi-old white male, that makes me sick. I cannot write in public what I wish for in McConnell's demise. But tarring and feathering is too good.
Greg (Colorado)
Disgusting and anti-American. In other words, just another day for the greedy old party.
Mr. B (Sarasota, FL)
The house is on fire and instead of rescuing its occupants, McConnell chooses the family jewels.
Gotta Say ... (Elsewhere)
This truly is disgraceful politicisation of the court (although it's hard not to launch the retort, "How about YOU go too, Mitch?") And what happened to the pious "the Senate won't confirm a judge in the year (aka 18 months) prior to an election?" Yes, there probably should be a retirement age for judges (and Senators -- along with term limits to get their snouts out of the power-trough).
Amala (Ithaca)
Fuggedaboutit!
J (The Great Flyover)
Moscow...you first!
chambolle (Bainbridge Island)
I have a request for Mitch McConnell: go soak your head.
Joan (Illinois)
What happens when the majority no longer sees the judiciary as legitimate?
Mike (Tucson)
If by the grace of Zeus the Democrats take all branches in November, here is a nice little to do list: 1. Nominate and confirm two explicitly liberal judges 2. A constitutional amendment the defines a citizen as a human and not a corporation. The "conservatives" that McConnell got appointed can't do anything if everything gets appealed to the supreme court at that juncture, thwarting his dastardly plan that began with Merrick Garlan. Two can play this game Mitch!
Sharon (Texas)
This is monstrous. And how can Chief Justice Roberts not approve? He of Citizens United fame, the ruling designed to encourage the selling of the House, Senate and Executive Branch to the highest corporate bidder. Now right-wing corporate America wants ownership of our Judiciary. And yet a good number of this newspaper's editorial writers and many readers declare Sen. Sanders is perhaps a bit too immoderate in righteously denouncing this selling off of our government. I cannot fathom how bow-down moderates can win the battle to save the very foundation of our Democracy. Not at this late date.
John (LINY)
I hope the New Democratic Congress decides to expand the judiciary to prosecute the huge amount of prior corruption they uncover in 2020 that will take some judge’s
Paul-A (St. Lawrence, NY)
When future historians look back at the principle players that laid the groundwork for the downfall of America, I predict they will point their fingers at the following (in chronological order): 1) Newt Gingrich 2) Fox News and Rush Limbaugh 3) Mitch McConnell 4) Donald Trump The sad part is that they all believe that they're "saving" America....
Liane B (Minneapolis)
As a Wellstone liberal, I would add Bill Clinton and supporting voters in house and senate who approved the Telecommunications Act of 1996 as participants in said downfall. The role of consolidation of media into fewer and fewer hands can’t be overstated, even with the rise of the internet, IMO.
Tired of Complacency (Missouri)
So much for a free and independent judiciary... but I guess that doesn't matter as long as McConnell's team wins (whatever that looks like). As I've stated previously on this comment board, the over-arching GOP strategy is complete power at each level of govt as well as all 3 federal branches, all in attempt to ensure a literal minority rule (by law) regardless of demographics in the future. I think we have reached the point of no return in this country, where there are 2 diametrically opposed, hyper partisan factions one of which regards their opponents as enemies of the state or non-patriotic, or to paraphrase Limbaugh "liberalism is a disease). Our nation is ungovernable in its current form and is time for a peaceful divorce.
Gene Ritchings (New York)
The Republican reactionary long game is to build an impenetrable firewall out of the federal judiciary, so when demographics and public disgust finally end Republican domination there will no chance of any legislation based on economic or social justice surviving. Thus their inhumanity, moral sadism, and religious statism will hold sway for generations to come.
S E Owl (Tacoma)
If you are a federal judge, appointed by either a Republican or Democrat predecessor of Trump, who has respect for the Constitution and keeping a judiciary that is seen as being fair to all of those who appear before your court - PLEASE Stay. Taking senior status or retiring now is essentially saying you support the divisive and disrespectful actions taken by Mr. McConnell. His refusal to fairly evaluate judicial candidates, to support the appointment of candidates found unqualified by the ABA is an insult to all of you. Stay and defend the legal profession, the rule of law, and the public you have sworn to serve.
JS (Minnesota)
Mitch has a talent for finding ways to prove again his cynicism, malice, and venal core. One can hope, by imagining multiple senior judges, even very conservative ones, taking offence at the medlesome majority leader's poor sense of the separation of powers.
Sean Cairne (San Deign)
Simple, once the American people have spoken in November, impeach every single judge Mitch and Donald put in their chairs. In act laws to keep this from happening again. Remove and replace: remove the GOP's judges -- top to bottom -- and put qualified people in their place. Overturn all the GOP's judge's rulings -- top to bottom.
Lilo (Michigan)
@Sean Cairne Can't be done. Won't be done.
Tom Q (Minneapolis, MN)
America has a message for Mitch McConnell; please quit. Never have so many senators done so little for so many Americans.
Montreal Moe (Twixt Gog and Magog)
Thank goodness for an honest voice. America's philosophical divide cannot be breached and McConnell's call for a biased uncompromising rigged system of law for at least a generation at least tells us it will be much easier to divide America than to unite it. When will the DNC realize the GOP does not want to get along? How much deeper do they have to stick your nose in it before you realize no amount of compromise will suffice? When will blue states tell the GOP where to go?
Richard Lee (Boston, MA)
I'd like to know if any of this activity occurred in the past month, when it became apparent that millions of American lives were at risk. If McConnell did anything political during this period of crisis, then he is nothing less than a traitor to the United States. It is one thing to be an opportunist, but another to be immoral.
Barbara (Maine)
Just when you think the politics of this country can't get more immoral, toxic, venal or vile they do. Covid-19 is a physical illness which will eventually be countered by a vaccine, but the soul sickness at the heart of the gop has no cure. I hope that other commentators are correct; mcconnell's haste to pack the court indicates his belief that the gop will lose the white house and the senate. Good riddance to you all, and don't let the doors hit you on the way out!
David COLLINS (Garland, TX)
What makes the Republicans think their packing the court is in any way valid? Just asking.
NYC BD (New York, NY)
I am concerned that Clarence Thomas will do the same thing and Trump will appoint a 30+ year younger version of him to the court so that we have many more years of his beliefs on the court.
Maxy Green (Teslaville)
@NYC BD Unfortunately he has Joe Biden to thank for his passing Senate confirmation. I'm still voting for Joe.
GUANNA (New England)
you would think he would be more concerned about leading the senate during the Corona virus crisis, but sadly no. I also he sees the writing on the wall the GOP is toast n November so it is maximum carnage until November.
Mike T (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
Thank you, NY Times, for the heads-up. I guess McConnell assumes that since we're currently caught up with dealing with a pandemic we won't pay attention to his latest contemptible move to stack the judiciary. Any comment from John Roberts who saw fit to scold Chuck Schumer? Of course not. I hope Joe and Bernie and every Democrat up for re-election will bring this up, starting now. We're smart enough to hold two thoughts at the same time.
John K (Stow, MA)
I have an idea: how about we invite McConnell to retire? Right now, please.
Dan (NJ)
I still don't understand what motivates these guys. It's too reductive to say greed or power. You can be pretty darn greedy and powerful and still work to make people's lives better. There's this weird iconoclastic drive in modern American conservativism that is just appalling. It's this lemming-like self destructive charge of continuous horrible decisions; they're determined to sink the ship but only after they've scuttled the lifeboats. I wonder if it really does have roots in Christian end times mythology.
whipsnade (campbell, ca)
McConnell should follow his own suggestion and retire. Immediately.
tony (DC)
Judging by the Republican's lack of action in stopping the corona virus from proliferating throughout the USA, it appears that they would like the elderly judges to take a very long step down from their offices.
Doremus Jessup (Moving On)
I sometimes wonder if Mitch McConnell has some serious self esteem issues.
Kevin (North)
McConnell's urgency is likely a sign he knows his thoroughly corrupt party is in danger of being voted into oblivion.
Michael Marcus (DC)
I thought we were not supposed to have "Republican judges" and "Democratic judges"? Will the Chief Justice comment on this?
Allenna (Toronto)
Ha Ha. He certainly changed his tune since he said Obama could't appoint a Supreme Court judge in the last year of his term. His transparent malign behaviour should be a shock to all Americans - particularly those who vote in Kentucky.
André (Montréal)
Lead by example. Resign.
Karl (Charleston SC)
It’s hard for me to fathom the party I aligned with in the past has sunken so low! Mitch has and continue to do more harm to this country than Donnie!! I am disgusted and appalled
jules (California)
Don't do it, judges! Please stay on until after the election. Don't let Mcconnell further destroy us!
how bad can it be (ne)
Good idea, need to protect the white right power base before some smart moderate with a female vp gets in with a majority Democrat house and Senate.
mcurnin (" title="gmail.com")
A new level of double-dealing for good old Mitch. I guess he go over his concern about late term Supreme Court nominations that so traumsatized himwhen Obama wanted to nominate Merrick Garland. Mitch is second only to the useless man in the White House on my list of favorites to disappear in the November elections.
Bruce Northwood (Salem, Oregon)
America is a thing of the past.
Vet24 (Ne)
What do you expect from the man who said that his top priority was making Obama a one term President while we were engaged in 2 wars and an economic collapse. Then later when confronted with the fact that Russia was engaging in active efforts to sway our election told Obama that if he made it public, he (McConnell) would declare that the President was interfering in the election. McConnell dances on the line of treason.
AMC (Alabama)
I have a message for you McConnell: Do this country a huge favor and quit. NOW.
Judy (Boston)
A message to McConnell - please resign so someone who values democracy can take your place.
JMA (Bardstown, KY)
Mitch is 78 years old. He is much older than many of the judges he is trying to force into retirement. Shouldn't he retire before he chokes on his own hypocrisy?
James (Va)
I have a request for Mitch McConnell: please quit.
Ockham9 (Norman, OK)
And Republicans have the gall to complain about Senator Schumer’s remarks about judicial excess by Trump appointees Kavanaugh and Gorsuch.
bse (vermont)
This is appalling. Mitch McConnell needs to be defeated in Kentucky in November. Pushing judges out the door so as to rig the appointment process, right out in the open, just like he did with Judge Garland, is just another terrible and unbelievable act. His long tenure has simply corrupted his view of our country's values and it is time to remind him that he is close to treasonous in his manipulative behavior.
cl (ny)
Sen. McConnell, you have been around long enough. Please step down.
AG (NYC)
McConnell’s words “But ... but this is the election year.. an outgoing President shouldn’t decide any judges”... when Obama was trying to confirm a Supreme Court judge! Are the rules any different this time... the same rule should apply at any level..
Tom W (Cambridge Springs, PA)
Both Trump and McConnell seem to somehow believe that politically and judicially stacking the deck, in the Republican’s favor, right out in the open, is acceptable behavior for the POTUS and rhe senate majority leader. This boggles the mind. No ethics. No fairness. No rule of law. Are these two men mad???
Bill (Albany, New York)
A perfect example of Republican principles and priorities during a pandemic.
oldBassGuy (mass)
Sure, packing courts with young ideologues is a far more urgent concern than a few hundred thousand COVID riddled dead Americans or another Great Recession.
GB (NY)
McConnell is vile person. He has cheated his way to being the most egregious politician in America (besides Trump). He doesn't know what democracy means. We should all demand that he resigns. Unethical, underhanded, one of worst role models for our young people. I can't say enough bad about him because he has proven himself time and time again to sink so low that no one could be lower.
Cassiopeia (Northern Sky)
I have a request for Mitch, "Please quit."
fishoutawater (Nashville)
mcconnell, you quit. No one has done more to wreck the constitution than you. and trump.
Kelly (MD)
The man has no bottom when it comes to ethics and morals. None
Steven (NYC)
With all the issues facing this country, Mitch McConnell the top GOP political hack has nothing better to do than sit around and scheme about how to “pack” the court system? Kentucky, you have a corrupt, morally bankrupt senator representing you. Time to vote this embarrassment of a man out of office.
Doug Garr (NYC)
This is the best news of the day. So Mitch is already starting to panic. If only Amy can win your seat, I will run up and down B'way screaming with joy. You are a sorry excuse for an elected official. Selfish, vindictive, and a danger to our Republic.
jah (usa)
My real reaction to this would not get published by the NYT. The idea that this guy, who stole a supreme court nomination by a sitting president, would so disgustingly in this time try to make this grab, is unspeakable. He should be ashamed. And, if he gets sick, well, he is in the high risk group.
mjbarr (Burdett, NY)
Nah, this isn't age discrimination (yes it is)
JFC (Havertown, PA)
How about if McConnell quits. Also, all the unqualified, racist and anti-worker judges Trump has appointed.
Jean Coqtail (Studio City, CA)
Kentucky, please vote this disaster out of office so that we don't have to be a nation that privileges old white Christian males and the small number of women who buy into his elitist, socially repressive programs that he would like to impose on a country where only a minority of the citizens are of like mind, culturally.
kristink (Vancouver Wa)
I have a request for Mitch McConnell: Please quit. Or better yet, Kentucky, kick him out.
Sid (Glen Head, NY)
After Antonin Scalia's death in February 2016, the Republican Senate led by Mitch McConnell was quick to assert that it was unacceptable to choose his successor until voters elected a new President in November 2016, almost NINE months hence. Now, with an election looming in less than EIGHT months, it is suddenly not only acceptable but actually desirable for the President and the Senate to do exactly what McConnell said they must NOT do when Barack Obama proposed Merrick Garland to replace Mr. Scalia. Mr. McConnell makes no pretense of hiding his utterly outrageous hypocrisy. He is the embodiment of a political hack and is devoid of any scruples whatsoever. If the Republicans press forward with plans to "pack the court" with doctrinaire Conservative Justices, the Democrats should give serious consideration to expanding the Court should they win back the Senate and the White House.
Peter M (Santa Monica)
Mr. McConnell and his Wife , Ms. Chao: These are standup Kentucky American Evangelical Christians; with fine Judaeo/Christian values. They have always had the best interest of the American people and their constituents in their hearts, and minds, and actions. Some fine quotes come to mind. But let us feel free to make new ones.
Fran (Southern VT)
It was 4 years ago TODAY (March 16, 2016) that Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Republican readers have likely conveniently forgotten that McConnell's excuse for not even pretending to do his job was "it's an election year; the voters should decide". They're even pretending to be anything other than two-faced, back-stabbing and corrupt.
Richard Walker (Essex, Ny)
I have an idea: Why not use an expanded "Merrick Garland Doctrine"? No appointments to the federal bench in the year of a presidential election. "Let the people decide." Actually, I have a better idea, encourage Senator McConnell to quit now so we no longer have to endure his despotic rule of the Senate.
Yeah (Chicago)
The most distressing aspect is that McConnell expects some amount of cooperation from federal judges in stacking the federal courts.
M E R (NYC/MASS)
As a citizen I have another message to. Eterzn judges: don’t quit! Why? Because those of us, like Itch, who will be dead in the next 10 or 20 years ( hopefully Mitch at 78 goes before me at 68) should not be trying to reach out from beyond the grave to control the lives of our grand and great grandchildren in a world we will not know. Many of the laws and precedents on the books today are insufficient to govern events that happen now and I don’t see that trend changing. And after the last three years I’m not sure all Of America wants to follow Trump down his anti science, mingling of church and state, big business path.
Remote (NM)
As I read this Moscow Mitch request, I realize that even Moscow Mitch can see the writing on the wall, and he has been blinded by orange make-up powder and Trump's lower cheeks for the past three years. Yes, the GOP knows it is done and is making a last ditch effort to skew the judicial system even more to the right than they have already done.
JF Brady (San Diego)
Democrats have to find a way to shut this action or the whole Senate down. If they can’t, maybe it’s time for citizens to do it, to flood DC and surround the Capitol. We should have done it when they wouldn’t give Garland a hearing. The government is being run by representatives of a minority of the population and maybe it’s time for the majority to stand up for ourselves.
grennan (green bay)
My first reaction to the headline was "that's disgusting" but then, like other commenters, I realized it means that Leader McConnell must believe there will be a Democratic president, majority leader, or both. While Trump and world crises distract the crowd, Mr. McConnell is essentially sneaking around and grabbing souls. Let's hope that federal judges live up to their vaunted reputation and independently decide to postpone retiring.
Michael (Rochester, NY)
I guess all judges have life appointments? Which, is and of itself a bad idea. Ginsberg, a giant of a judge in her prime, sits asleep for most of the day. For what? So that her young assistants can make choices for her? Tell her how to vote? Obama should have encourage her to step down. Why not? Extremely old people are not effective under stress or doing drudgingly hard work. One could argue that what we really need is to do eliminate lifetime judicial appointments, period.
Lilo (Michigan)
@Michael Obama DID hint to her that she should retire. She gave him the finger. Ginsburg made it clear that she would retire when SHE wanted to do so. We can't eliminate lifetime federal judicial appointments without a constitutional amendment. That requires 38 states and 2/3 of the House and Senate. IOW it would need to be non-partisan. Since most of the people screaming for such a thing are Democrats, Republicans would never go for it.
Luna (Florida)
Veteran Federal Judges, if you love our country, please don't quit. Doing so will cement trumpism in our judicial system, our politics, and our society. Trump will continue appointing "judges" deemed unqualified by the American Bar Association. How can we be asked to trust judges that are deemed unqualified to be a judge?
RAD61 (New York)
This is how the Plutocracy consolidates power. This is why countries can have decades and centuries of feudalism and why democracy is so difficult to sustain.
Elle Kaye (Mid-US)
This just shows that to McConnell, it's all about politics, not about having a qualified person to uphold the law.
NKM (MD, USA)
Why is it that when the country is in the middle of panic from a pandemic and a likely recession, that the Senate majority leader is more concerned about appointing judges than passing laws to fix our problems?
Harold (Florida)
Isn't it an election year? Surely Senator McConnell believes that the American people have a right to go to the polls to determine which party fills these judicial seats.
Bill (Upstate New York)
At this point in the election cycle, shouldn't the Senate suspend any further action on appointments of federal judges and let the voters decide? I believe that Mr McConnell has already established such a precedent.
jj (co)
When will we wake up and realize that federal judges should have term limits as well, regardless of which party is in "control".
Roger (Seattle)
I would like to think that McConnell believes he’s acting in the best long-term interests of our Republic. But, sadly enough, I don’t believe that. And, sadly enough, neither does McConnell.
T Paine (Ohio)
Packing the courts is McConnel’s most essential function. The policies put forth by the Republican Party are so consistently bad that they lose challenges in a reasonable court.
sMAV (New York)
Great transformational change in American history. - stacking federal judges, I won’t even say conservative as I don’t know the meaning of the word anymore in these times. Simply in favor of anything not associated with man. - gutting CDC to cull the human population. There is no other rational. - gutting any relief to the most vulnerable on an emergency package. - “Public / private” partnership has been the term constantly being thrown around. Serious, is that what happened in WW1 or WW2. The US govt is the greatest body to address any issue if they are instructed to do so. - no MASH units deployed. Parking lots need to be taken over in hot spots. Make shift triage need to occur. What happened to all the drilled we run in NYC. Pathetic.
DDC (12)
Mr. McConnell, you were born in 1942 and will be 79 and again running for another term in 2020. Why don’t you retire? That is the question that all Americans are asking of you. Maybe the Democrats should simply not allow any judicial appointments until a new President is elected. Dreaming in Massachusetts.
Jean (EU)
I can't help associating this Corona crisis with the kind of people McConnell and Trump exemplify. Somehow linked.
Brooklyn Dog Geek (Brooklyn NY)
Mitch McConnell is the most dangerous, sinister man to ever walk the earth. His slithering brand of politics and carelessness with America has damaged this country and hurt its citizens more than we’ll ever be able to quantify.
Gadea (Montpellier France)
sinister, a figure of evil getting senile
susan (seattle)
and yet his constituents vote for him
Patricia Sun (Reston, VA)
So why doesn’t he lead by example?
Jean (EU)
Conservative senators do not have a soul. They are merciless , corruption mechanisms; and their long term vision is of a machine not human being.
Paul Gasek (Brewster, MA)
A small, evil man ... in the midst of a life-threatening universal crisis, can only think about his partisan long game.
c-c-g (New Orleans)
This ridiculous request by McConnell means that he and the GOP know that Trump will lose in Nov. and they will probably lose the Senate as well. So the Republicans won't get to appoint anymore unqualified neoconservative judges for several yrs. starting in Jan. 2021. I'm praying harder than ever that Ginburg lives at least until the next president takes office.
cl (ny)
@c-c-g The trouble with some of these Republican tactics is that they can be applied in the future by the opposition. Can you imagine how that would go down? Can you imagine the Democrats going in for voter suppression, voter fraud, gerrymandering, mock impeachment trials, stuffing the courts, ignoring subpoenas, lying, bribing, refusing requests for materials, secret meetings, self-dealing, every form of obstruction imaginable, the most blatant display of nepotism, flagrant spending, disdain for the press and the most counter-intuitive appointment ever, partisanship, spite, revenge...I could go on, but it is exhausting.
Sofedup (San Francisco, CA)
@c-c-g oh please! Please! PLEASE!!!!!
S. T. (Florida)
What a coincidence, I have the same request of Mr. McConnell
Thomas Murray (NYC)
Dire request of judges with a better appreciation of our democracy than moscow mitch has, or ever had (a low bar if ever there were one): Do not retire before you can see the whites of the eyes of a Senate Majority Leader who is a Democrat, and/or ... but preferably 'at once' and not later than January 2021 ... of a president who is a Democrat -- whichever comes first, should the desperately preferred 'at once' fail.
Jim (NH)
If there was a single moral bone in McConnell's body, he'd be demanding that Trump to resign. It's time Mo$cow Mitch was put out to bluegrass.
Gordon Jones (California)
Dear Moscow Mitch -- You first - from the American Public. Begone!
PhredM69 (Maryland)
Let's not beat around the bush. Mitch McConnell is evil personified.
ADubs (Chicago, IL)
Any truly conservative judge will tell McConnell to shove it. McConnell is a Republican, but he's certainly no conservative. His governing is hugely intrusive on personal freedoms (aside from the 2nd Amendment) and incredibly reckless fiscally. Do the correct thing, judges. Hold your ground!
Jean (EU)
Two senators from Kentucky have been devastating for the US. Both conservative hawks, both pro-Russian, and anti-European.
Vermont Girl (Denver)
America Has a Request for McConnell: Please Quit
Andy (Narnia)
I call on Mitch McConnell to step down for the good of the nation and all that is mete and holy.
G.K. (Maryland)
"Littlefinger would see the realm burn if he could be king of the ashes."
George Boes (Purdue University)
McConnell & Trump are the two most dangerous ppl in America. By far.
Moehoward (The Final Prophet)
McConnell is a snake, widely "disliked" in Kentucky too. Lets see if he ends up on the losing side in November. Rendering him impotent would be poetic justice. I'd love to be able to be a fabulist to him every time he needs to be spoken to. And do it with a chuckle and a drawl. hehe.
cl (ny)
@Moehoward People of Kentucky, how can it be that you have elected this man so many times?
Broken (Baltimore)
I said it before and I’ll say it again, if the voters of Kentucky re-elect this guy — repulsive senator No.1 with the repulsive No. 2, Rand Paul — and foist him on the rest of us, then it’s time for a full-scale boycott of the state, starting with Kentucky bourbon.
Paul (Philadelphia, PA)
@Broken I've been boycotting Kentucky-made anything for years. Why wait for yet another election?
garlic11 (MN)
My request to the judges: Please stay until another administration comes in. Too many unqualified or biased or nutjob appointments already the last three years.
Phaque Di’Aronald Jay Chump (California)
Why aren’t our patriots in the military responding to these treasonous tactics?
Katz (Tennessee)
I wish every judge targeted with this nasty request would reply, "After you, Sen. McConnell."
Slann (CA)
@Katz Touche!
Calleendeoliveira (FL)
Please everyone send your money to Amy McGrath, McConnell is the real evil in the WH because he knows what he does, Trump does not.
Rick (New York, NY)
In the two years between President Obama’s re-election in 2012 and the Democrats’ loss of their Senate majority in 2014, there were some public calls for Justice Ginsberg to step down so that Obama could nominate, and the Senate could confirm, a younger liberal justice. (Two things to remember here: (1) the Democrats did not have a filibuster-proof majority but, in all likelihood, would have changed the rules to require only a simple majority to confirm Supreme Court justices if an opening had arisen; (2) the Democrats faced a VERY tough Senate map in 2014 and the loss of their Senate majority was foreseeable, and widely foreseen, well in advance.) Justice Ginsberg resolutely ignored these calls. Well, 2014 went as expected, and 2016 went as unexpected. Now liberals are left to hope that this year’s elections allow for her retirement and replacement by a younger justice. The same goes for Justice Breyer too. Speaking of which, I’m repeating a prediction for later this spring or for this summer: Clarence Thomas will call it a career in an attempt to gin up turn-out for the Republicans this fall. Can the Democrats effectively counter this at the ballot box? If so, the Supreme Court will wind up looking very different by the end of next year.
Slann (CA)
@Rick RBG, live 100 years!
cl (ny)
@Rick RGB also agreed that corporations were people. She was BFF with Antonin Scalia. I am not a fan of her's.
David J (NJ)
McConnell, I don’t wish him well.
Tom (Washington, DC)
mitch, you ever hear of separation of powers? Controlling the United State judiciary is not in your job description. You have to be the most corrupt, most sinister senate leader of all time.
Bard (Canada)
Trump plays with his imaginary armies, triumphantly vanquishing his enemies, while descending into utter madness. Meanwhile, McConnell is busy hiding the art and burning his uniform.
Chris Rasmussen (Highland Park, New Jersey)
So much for the separation of powers!
Meighan Corbett (Rye, NY)
I am thoroughly disgusted by Mitch McConnell; aren't the good people of Kentucky disgusted as well? I am shaking my head at his behavior.
Stephen G (Oakland)
Just one more desperate perversion of our democracy by this twisted individual. Meanwhile he blocks any relief plans while America disintegrates. I don’t know if he has no soul or just forgot where he put it.
Joe (Ohio)
He's just craven. He knows he is staring down another blue wave that might just catch him too.
cadv lib (Colorado)
Request to McConnell- please retire now.
Maloosh (Austin)
McConnell should be the next to step down. He should leave the federal judiciary completely alone. Trump gives him cover for his radically racist and elitist agenda. Kentucky should banish him to the political wilderness forever in November.
Michael shenk (California)
The Supreme Court is also out of touch with reality. SCOTUS is focusing on Louisiana's last abortion clinic while hospital Intensive Care and Acute Care units, coast to coast, are rationing PPE's [personal protection equipment].
mnemosyne (vancouver)
this is the Merrick Garland judge appointment prohibition period. brought to you by Senator McConnell. Senator McConnell abide by your own words.
M E R (NYC/MASS)
He already said if RBG does he’d get someone in right away. He’s so desperate for three scotus appointments it would surprise me if he deliberately infected her with corona.
A E M (Kentucky)
Mitch McConnell is an embarrassment to this state and this country. His blatant partisanship with regard to judges is terrible. Here's hoping that my fellow Kentuckians will "Ditch Mitch" come November.
Monica (Staten Island)
Thank you.
Midwest Tom (Chicago)
IF the Democrats win the Senate... How bad does a judge have to be to get impeached? Before you say this isn’t fair, think again.
Vet24 (Ne)
@Midwest Tom I think that it could be argued that the Federalist Society is a subversive organization. They believe in and promote an extreme view of the Unitary Executive theory which essentially elevates the Presidency to a monarchy. Their website talks about how bi-partisan they are, but they are as much that as FoxNews is fair and balanced. They keep a 'liberal' or two around for appearance.
Heysus (Mt. Vernon)
This defies disgusting. Time to tell Moscow Mitch the twitch to step down. Hopefully he will be gone soon. We can't take much more of him. It's time the Dems stepped up and called Moscow Mitch on his unprofessionalism. Vote blue folks, through and through.
markd (michigan)
Federal judges to Mitch McConnell: You first.
Charlie David (Grand St. LES)
When will this end? I have a request that we take up a collection and send Senator McConnell on a nice long cruise.
Gadea (Montpellier France)
Nice long cruise with coronavirus should be a must.
Paul (Philadelphia, PA)
@Charlie David On an iceberg. To the Caribbean.
Mark (Aspen)
The stock market is in free-fall, the economy is ruined, the health of millions of people are in jeopardy, and McConnell and trump are telling judges to quit and pardoning criminals. This is truly the most disgusting group that is imaginable. It will take many years and longer to undo the damage done by this duo.
James (Colorado Springs)
The new Trump GOP has turned us into a third world banana republic, without the bananas.
Louise (USA)
Don't you all dare! He just wants to be able to appoint more unqualified judges who don't care about the American people just their paymasters, McConnell, the GOP and corporations... I never saw such a sad and morally bankrupt cast of characters already confirmed by McConnell's sham process...
DH (Brooklyn, NY)
McConnell knows he is going to lose to Amy McGrath.
samp426 (Sarasota)
The right is completely out of their minds and this is just the latest example of toads being toads.
William Tyler (Santa Cruz, CA)
McConnell and his gang of trogolodytes have done more damage to America and the world than we will be able to recover from in my lifetime. And he's still at it, swinging a sledgehammer at the foundations of our democracy with all his strength.
Byron Jones (Memphis TN)
@William Tyler Please don't insult troglodytes!
Isle (Washington, DC)
President Carter's aides constantly pressured Justice Thurgood Marshall to step down so that Carter could replace him, in the event that Carter lost in 1980, and so Democrats have done this as well. Let's be fair NYT.
Keith Peterson (New York)
Yes but the Dems were working on maintain status quo. McConnell is attempting to accelerate the establishment of an embedded highly conservative judicial base. Not quite the same thing.
MEH (Ontario)
@Isle a long time ago in a land far far away
Susan (Florida)
@Isle So that’s one example. McConnell is doing this wholesale.
A Boston (Maine)
The best he can now hope to achieve is to replace older incompetent ideologues with younger ones. Truly, McConnell is a man who has wasted the one life each of us is given.
Steve Pomerantz (New york)
Perhaps we shouldn’t appoint judges in an election year ?
Susan (Seattle)
Good luck with that one, Bucko. Judges are fairly well educated and they see Trump dumbing down judges he picks.
Blue Ridge (Blue Ridge Mountains)
I keep thinking things can't get worse or more surreal, and along comes this eye-popping headline and article. Well past time for McConnell to resign. His only goal is to make this country over in his image, odious and antiquated.
Eirroc (Skaneateles NY)
I know that many people have the same request of McConnell.
Lou Panico (Linden NJ)
People are getting very sick and dying. Retirement savings are evaporating by the minute, our medical system is at the breaking point, Americans are suffering, and all McConnell and the Republican Party care about are judges. This is a very dark moment in this country and our leaders are out to lunch.
David Baldwin (Petaluma CA)
How much contempt can a person have for another person? Mitch McConnell stretches the limits.
R. Huie (Michigan)
This. This may be the ultimate hypocrisy. Merrick Garland, anyone?
julius (los angeles)
More than anything else, this indicates to me that McConnell believes the Senate might flip!
Joe Rockbottom (California)
He’ll have plenty of takers. After all, Gorsuch proved how dishonorable he is by gleefully taking Garland’s seat when it was thrown to him. These guys are politicians through and through, despite the weak minded protestations of John “Pretend I’m a Moderate “ Roberts.
ws (Ithaca)
March 16, 2016 “The leader reiterated his position that the American people will have a voice in this vacancy and that the Senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the person the next president nominates. And since the Senate will not be acting on this nomination, he would not be holding a perfunctory meeting, but he wished Judge Garland well.” Mr. McConnell’s spokesman, Don Stewart, said in a statement. https://www.nytimes.com/live/obama-supreme-court-nomination/mcconnell-tells-garland/ So now on March 16, 2020, it would seem that the senate should revist the matter of all future judicial nominations after we hear the voice of the American people in November 2020.
melanie (Earth)
I have a request for McConnell and Trump: You quit. History is going to be so unkind to you both.
Mike (Indiana)
A majority of Americans has a message for Mitch McConnell: Please quit!
Bill (Urbana, IL)
And what’s the litmus test? Greater leeway for his wife’s shipping interests and his own interests in Russian aluminum? This compromised, unpatriotic man will never step down because his position in then senate is inextricably linked to his own greed. Only the people of the great state of Kentucky can fix this.
Glenn (Belmont, MA)
I suggest McConnell quit. Or if he doesn't then he be voted OUT of office in November. We have had enough of him and his ilk.
Leslie (Arizona)
You mean the same republicans that blocked the nomination of judges when Obama was president? if I didn't hate republicans enough...here's another stick to add to the growing pile.
JR (Philadelphia)
Here’s a better idea, Mitch, why don’t you quit? Many agree that you’re well past your sell-by date. Why not make room for someone with a few less miles on the tires, and a better appreciation for what the country really needs?
Keith Dow (Folsom Ca)
Of course Chief Justice John Roberts has spoken against this. Oh, I guess he hasn't. Apparently Roberts is just another political hack.
Kalkat (Venice, CA)
God didn't hand down to Moses stone tablets with rules about US benches. All things can change, and the sooner, the better . . .
stuckincali (l.a.)
Moscow Mitch and the rest of the GOP crooks, need to step down now,instead of any judge. And if this nightmare ever ends,every Trump appointee needs to be kicked out of whatever position Mr. Impeachment has stuck them in.
Sandy (nj)
It is McConnell and Trump who should quit!
Ken (Tillson, New York)
"Justices" walking away no doubt with a generous golden parachute. These people have no shame.
Frank Casa (Durham)
People will remember the scene in "Strangelove" where there is a meeting to try to solve a question of life or death by atomic warfare and the Russian ambassador is still trying to steal some bit of military information. That's McConnell trying to sneak in a few more political judges while the world is threatened by social and economic collapse. What a malevolent man and totally despicable politician!
Phaque Di’Aronald Jay Chump (California)
You guys don’t want Moscow Mitch and Trump to stay in power? Go outside and do something about it instead of ranting here.
gurl from the bronx (Oakland CA)
Veteran Federal Judges Have a Request for McConnell: Please Quit
AA (MA)
Many Republican judges chosen by Reagan and the two Bush presidents have very different views than the extremely right wing judges chosen by Trump and McConnell. For Mitch McConnell, filling court vacancies is a game he plays to gain power and loyalty to the Republican Party. But for many honest, conservative Republican judges, the law is not a game but something sacred and worth protecting. It would be unwise for them to retire in order to further politicize the judiciary and promote Trump's anti-democratic policies. If, under pressure from the Senate majority leader, they leave their positions, their legacy will be one of complicity in the American public's loss of faith in an independent judiciary.
Glenn Thomas (Earth)
@AA I have news for you, "...American public's loss of faith in an independent judiciary..." began with the appointment of Justice Thomas, a largely incompetent, political hack.
AA (MA)
@Glenn Thomas you definitely have a point
DH (Brooklyn, NY)
Do any of these judges have children that work in the private banking industry and perhaps have Mitch as a client?
VMG (NJ)
McConnel should use some of his energy to pass or at least bring to the floor the hundreds of bills the House has already passed instead of packing the courts again with potentially limited time left in the Republican held Senate.
John (San Jose, CA)
But the official McConnell policy is that when we are this close to an election, judicial nominations should wait until after the election so that "the American people have a voice in this momentous decision".
mattjr (New Jersey)
Well now, Article 3 provides that Congress can create all inferior courts including District Courts and Courts of Appeal. What Congress creates it can uncreate. With a Democrat in the White House and with a Democratic Congress, the number of Federal Courts and judges can be cut back. In the interest of fairness, the courts can be eliminated based on seniority. A judge has a lifetime appointment providing that the court to which he or she is appointed exists.
Robert Howell (Saskatoon)
That is nothing short of saying the judiciary is biased and can be politicized, which is not just a perfidious mark on the character of Mr. McConnell but an insult to the judiciary.
Glenn Thomas (Earth)
@Robert Howell I'm not so sure it will be understood or taken as, "...an insult to the judiciary." at all, with the possible exception of Roberts. Roberts is very, very concerned about his legacy and the actions of the Republican Party will continue to give him pause for thought.
Michael A (California)
Senator McConnell is reaching out judge to discuss retirement to nominate replacements goes to heart of a creating in appearance, if not in fact, a biased judicial system. Senator McConnell is so Machiavellian in his role as a United States Senator, as we is clearly willing to destroy the very system he purports to protect.
Dean Blake (Los Angeles)
I cannot imagine any honest judge taking senior status between now and the swearing in of the next Congress without self identifying him/herself as political.
Lev Tsitrin (Brooklyn, NY)
For some strange reason we refuse to see the elephant in the room: how is it possible for republican judges to decide cases differently from the democrats? After all, is it possible for the republican-voting umpire to declare Red Sox a winner in a game while his democrat colleague decides that Yankees won? This is because, as I learned in my own litigation (Overview Books V. US), federal judges don't judge parties' argument; after you've paid tons of money to you lawyer, they just replace his argument with a bogus argument of judges' concoction that makes the decision look plausible, and yet allows them to decide the case the way they want to, rather than the way they have to. When I sued judges themselves for fraud, their argument was that in Pierson v. Ray they gave themselves a right to act from the bench "maliciously and corruptly." This dirty arrangement, in which judges act as lawyers to the party they want to win, giving victory to their own argument, is what underpins our court system, allowing for bizarre 4-5 decisions. Bizarrely, the press refuses to report on the subject of judicial fraud (journalists actually refuse to discuss the subject when I contact them, and my op-eds go unpublished) -- apparently, the "appearance" of judicial honesty is too valuable to ruin it by honest reporting of how judicial decision-making is done. As a result we wring our hands at politicians' manipulation of judiciary -- but do nothing to stop judicial fraud that underpins it.
Joe Rockbottom (California)
Wait, didn’t Chief Justice John “Pretend I’m a Moderate” Roberts claim there are no democrat or republican judges? Oops.
Matt (New York)
Well I guess Mitch is not to optimistic about Trump getting reelected.
lightscientist66 (PNW)
If I had to face one of the judges as a Democrat I would immediately challenge their impartiality and independence. McConnell has opened the door to all of the judges appointed by Trump and company to be challenged.
Ted (California)
I guess Mitch McConnell deserves some credit for his dedication and commitment. Even in this seemingly apocalyptic time, when the economy is collapsing like the Twin Towers on 9/11 and many of us fear for our very lives, Mitch is steadfastly maintaining a laser-sharp focus on ensuring the long-term hegemony of his Party and interests of the wealthy donors it exclusively represents. Never mind that the House just worked overtime to pass a desperately-needed bipartisan coronavirus relief bill that Trump (for now) tweeted that he would sign. That can wait. Replacing old Republican judges with young litmus-tested Federalist Society ideologues while he still rules the Senate is a much higher priority, since his proudest legacy will be to turn the federal courts into a partisan institution that will reliably serve Republicans and their donors even if the libs somehow usurp control of the other branches. The filthy "takers" can wait for their undeserved socialist handouts. That's Mitch McConnell. A latter-day Nero fiddling with the courts while the country disintegrates. But to Republicans and their donors, he's a true hero who always puts Party and Donors first!
LIChef (East Coast)
This is how McConnell spends his time instead of bringing federal legislation to reality and helping his poor state out of the 19th century. He, too, needs to go down to defeat this fall. Kentuckians, what say you?
Oregon Guitarist (Oregon)
"Leave no vacancy behind," except in agencies needed to protect the public.
jsuding (albuquerque)
But wait, Mitch.... if my memory is correct it was you who told us that in the close run-up to an election we shouldn't be appointing new justices and judges. We should wait until the "voters have spoken". That was you who said that - wasn't it, Mitch? I don't think it was Merrick Garland that made that comment -- was it, Mitch?
impegleg (NJ)
I've been saying all along, "McConnell is a bigger danger than Trump." I'm happy to see many others are finally seeing the light. I agree with the comments that MM anticipates the loss of the Rep. Presidency. The Dem. must win the Senate in addition to the Presidency or else MM will still rule the roost.
steven (Fremont CA)
And now, in the mist of a serious threat to the health of Americans. mcconnell.doing tump’s bidding has ordered older republican judges to step down before the elections. It was mcconnell that said Affordable health care for the middle class is socialism and republicans will never allow it.
DogRancher (New Mexico)
- Moscow Mitch has done much to destroy many of our governmental traditions that promoted a somewhat of smooth operation. When the Democrats take charge they need to reverse some damage that Moscow Mitch has done to our third branch of government. And hopefully codify some of the traditions to slow down the next Republican rampage. As we can count on continuing Republican rampages as long as the are Republicans being funded by the very wealthy. --
Arthur Mullen (Guilford, CT)
I have made the exact same recommendation, without the "please" — for Mitch McConnell.
Sunshine (PNW)
Two words: Merrick Garland.
B. (USA)
A takes a real professional to be proud of being a weasel. McConnell takes it to new heights. This is about as un-American as you can get. He needs to not be appointing judges in an election year, and let the people decide who should be appointed.
daniel secia (fairhaven, ma)
Anyone waiting for an admonition from John Roberts for such blatant disregard for the politicization of the courts by McConnell should not hold their breaths. Those admonitions are held for Democrats to assure them of the impartiality of the Judiciary.
JS (Chicago)
Ironic that March 16 is the day Merrick Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court! Thought Republicans said that after this day, they should hold off on any judicial confirmations to give the new administration a chance to nominate its own choices. Hypocrisy to the 100th power. Donating to the Ditch Mitch fund as soon as I finish typing this.
Domyo Bodhi (Bloomington, Illinois)
I have my own suggestion as to what McConnell should to himself. It is not printable.
NotJamesMadison (New Jersey)
Senator McConnell, "Have You No Sense of Decency, Sir?" Four years ago you refused to considered President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia saying that "the American people should have a say in the court's direction.” Shouldn’t the American people have an equal say in the direction of the entire federal judiciary?
Glenn Thomas (Earth)
I guess he's looking for more "Trump judges." What does Justice Roberts have to say about that? Better yet, what do the prospective justices have to say about that? Will they be honest and declare that they will work hard for partisan judgments? Is this all that remains of any "integrity" in the Republican Party? I honestly would not be surprised.
dog lover (boston)
There is no one in the world more repulsive ,more devious, more ethically bankrupt than Trump. McConnell runs a close second. Politicizing the judicial branch? Doesn't get more morally bankrupt than that.
December (Concord, NH)
@dog lover I agree, except you have the rankings reversed. McConnell knows exactly what he is doing, whereas Trump is not right in the head. That makes McConnell worse.
bakereast (Pennsylvania)
This is the most disheartening article I've read in a month of extremely disheartening articles. It is clear that McConnell has zero interest in our democracy and in our public health, but this just caps it. I hope the KY voters wisen up and get him out.
Mlk189 (Boise)
If Americans don’t see the treasonous plans & actions of McConnell...... If they don’t vote against this ...... Then we lost American Democracy.
Glenn Thomas (Earth)
@Mlk189 It may be a small consolation, but this has the potential of destroying the Republican Party forever. All the credibility Republicans may have, (or whatever's left of it), will be lost. Not only here, but around the world.
Connie Martin (Warrington Pa)
@Glenn Thomas Unless covid-19 kills off every Republican voter, the people who are responsible for voting so irresponsibly for this hateful, evil man and his like will still be here and still be willing and eager to vote for hateful evil candidates. They'll all just crawl back under their rocks and bide their time...
Bruce1253 (San Diego)
This says two things: It is a completely partisan power grab. McConnell is not confident of the Party of Trump retaining either the Presidency or control of Congress after the election.
Michael G (Miami FL)
If I were a federal judge, and I cared about the future of the United States, the last thing I would do is retire because a politician—any politician—asked me to do so. It must be certainly true that most, if not all, judges understand that there is already too great a tendency in this country to consider members of the judiciary to be lacking in objectivity on any given issue, depending on who appointed and confirmed them to their office. This erodes confidence in an entire branch of the federal government, and cannot possibly be good for the nation. While one could sympathize with conservatives if they strove to avoid naming judges who might lean too far to the left, the truth is that current Republican leadership from the POTUS on down is laser-focused on nominating only ultra-conservative zealots to federal judgeships. The ideologues who have taken over the Republican party turn a blind eye to the possibility that they are damaging our republic: the important thing is that they prevail, no matter what, and no matter what tactics must be employed to achieve their goals. The ends justify the means.
Markymark (San Francisco)
Even more reason to expand the court and the federal judiciary.
Practical Realities (North of LA)
If Chief Justice John Roberts wants to maintain his judicial integrity, and the integrity of the entire US judicial system, he would publicly step in to halt McConnell's efforts to pack the courts with Republican judges. But I'm not going to hold my breath.
scott (ontario)
now is the time to stop having your judges "declare" Republican or Democrat leaning. I could never understand why neutral judges always had to declare their political viewpoint. Human nature what it is , will always be a tip-off to pre-decision banter . I think our Canadian judges aren't required to declare their political affiliations, but probably some are known how they do lean, maybe not overtly though
Joe Rockbottom (California)
“...declare republican or Democrat...”. Well, when an ironclad requirement is that the only judges nominated must be fully indoctrinated by the ultra right wing fringe Federalist Society and swear fealty to that political group, there is no need to guess about “declaring” anything.
John (Amherst, MA)
Because, why not make the courts an extension of the GOP for a few decades??? The judges who heed this call will be showing themselves to be partisan hacks, not arbiters of justice.
Getreal (Colorado)
Corrupting the courts wholesale. And what does Roberts have to say about Moscow's direct manipulation, again!, of our "justice" system ?
ExileFromNJ (Maricopa County AZ)
This man McConnell could be the reason why we still have Trump today. No witnesses at the impeachment hearings, really? We could have been past this dangerous POTUS.
JoeBftsplk (Lancaster PA)
Don't worry. When the Democrats regain control of our government, they can greatly increase the number of judges, and justices, to render these Republican hacks less relevant.
Glenn Thomas (Earth)
@JoeBftsplk That's the only path left to us. It's happened before and, no matter what happens now, it is already in the cards.
Indy1 (CA)
The ultimate in Gerrymandering. McConnell has gone past the boundaries of his office and he needs to either step down immediately or face a treason trial. Does he represent Kentucky or Donald Trump?
Joe Miksis (San Francisco)
McConnell's dream is to maximize the number of incompetent, Alt-right, white supremacist judges sitting in the federal court system, before the November election. He wants the country to be like Kentucky, which has some of the highest poverty, worst healthcare and poorest educational development in the USA.
Paul Connah (Los Angeles)
Mitch McConnell, step down now!
FeliciaL (Gainesville, Florida)
Wasn't he the one saying four years ago that we can't appoint a Supreme Court judge during a presidential election year because we should "let the people decide"? What a hypocrite.
Muleman (Colorado)
Senator McConnell is one of the most disgraceful people to ever serve in Congress. Kentucky voters: do the patriotic thing. Vote McConnell out of office!
Latest
See also