Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham once dared Americans to “use my words against me” during March 2016 remarks in which he declared the next president—regardless of party—would not fill a Supreme Court vacancy during the final year of their first term.
The South Carolina senator is among several Republicans, including Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, who once vowed to block any Supreme Court nomination even if a Republican took office in November 2016. Graham on at least two occasions—once in March 2016 during Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings, and again in 2018 during Brett Kavanaugh’s hearings—defended Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for blocking then-President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland. Senate Republicans refused to call a vote or even hear discussion of Garland’s nomination after the February 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
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