McConnell has been unrivaled as a Senate leader in his grip on judicial nominations. His opposition to President Barack Obama's judicial approach is deep-rooted and distinct. This is his final stand against the administration, and the Kentucky Republican has maneuvered in a way that so far has immobilized his critics. . . . McConnell's resistance to Obama's judicial nominees surfaced as soon as the new president took office in 2009. Scalia's death only intensified the judicial wars. . . .
McConnell acted swiftly as news of Scalia's death began circulating the afternoon of February 13. He was on the road when the Scalia news broke and talked with staff and colleagues by phone and email, his spokesman Don Stewart said.
And within an hour of the Supreme Court's official announcement of his death, McConnell declared the next president, not Obama, who still had 11 months left in office, should name Scalia's successor. . . . McConnell's action galvanized GOP senators and preempted their possible support for Obama's March 16 choice of Garland. At any other time, Garland, widely regarded as an ideological moderate, might have been a consensus nominee drawing bipartisan Senate backing.
McConnell's line against any hearings or review, far from a spontaneous salvo, reflected a long-considered strategy against Obama's nominees.
From the start, McConnell "has been vigilant and irrepressible," said Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the Federalist Society, a conservative group that has worked since the Ronald Reagan years to move the federal courts to the right.Thank you, Sen. McConnell, for your leadership on judicial nominations and fighting to protect the judiciary from judges who will legislate from the bench and not respect the rule of law and the role of the courts.