LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A group of more than 100 protesters gathered outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's home Saturday in response to an announcement that the Kentucky legislator will push to quickly fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
McConnell issued a statement late Friday saying he intends to hold a vote on whomever President Donald Trump nominates to succeed Ginsburg, even though Election Day is less than two months away.
Protesters lined the streets the next day in front of the senator's home in the Belknap neighborhood shortly after noon, chanting "Hey hey, ho ho, Mitch McConnell has got to go" and "vote him out" as several passing drivers honked and waved support.
Louisville Metro Police officers arrested one protester on charges of disorderly conduct and an improper parking violation. By around 3:30 p.m., the protest had ended.
Laura Johnsrude of Prospect, Kentucky, was one of several protesters at the rally who brought a sign reading, "The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president."
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McConnell used those same words words after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016. That year, McConnell led Senate Republicans in deciding to block then-President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to replace Scalia because it was a presidential election year.
This woman, Laura Johnsrude, has a sign quoting Mitch McConnell from 2016. She said she is “disgusted” but is “not surprised” by his statement. pic.twitter.com/Aiuab2RIkh
— Hayes Gardner (@HayesGardner) September 19, 2020
“I’m disgusted that Sen. McConnell would treat this opportunity in a complete different manner than he treated the opportunity when there was a vacancy when Obama was nine or 10 months away from the election," Johnsrude said. "I’m not surprised, but I am disgusted. I think that’s appalling."
In his statement Friday, McConnell made it clear he sees the situation in 2020 as different from the one the Senate faced in 2016.
"In the last midterm election before Justice Scalia’s death in 2016, Americans elected a Republican Senate majority because we pledged to check and balance the last days of a lame-duck president’s second term. We kept our promise," he said.
"Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year.
"By contrast, Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary," he continued. "Once again, we will keep our promise."
Contributing: Morgan Watkins
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Ruth Bader Ginsberg: Mitch McConnell's Kentucky home draws protest