Why Mitch McConnell won’t go away quietly — health problems and all: legal expert
No one has done more to push the U.S. Supreme Court to the hard-right than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), who blocked former President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, in 2016, before doing everything he could get all three of Donald Trump's nominees (Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett) confirmed.
Tensions between McConnell and Trump, however, have helped fuel the MAGA push to replace McConnell as Senate GOP leader. And McConnell's health problems have only added to MAGA calls to oust him.
But progressive legal expert Elie Mystal, in an article published by The Nation on September 18, lays out some reasons why the 81-year-old McConnell won't leave the U.S. Senate quietly — health problems and all.
"McConnell, of course, shows no sign of being willing to retire," Mystal observes. "In private calls, he has allegedly assured Republicans that he is 'fine,' and I guess everybody is supposed to take his word for it."
The attorney adds that while "normal" politicians may avoid retirement because of "pride," McConnell is "far from normal" where politicians are concerned.
"He is perhaps the most successful congressional operator since Henry Clay and a man who wouldn't turn on a light switch unless it somehow helped Republicans win political power," Mystal argues. "Whether or not McConnell wants to retire is irrelevant; from his perspective, he probably can't. That's because his home state of Kentucky has a Democratic governor, and a law McConnell helped engineer to limit that governor's choices on McConnell's replacement is probably unconstitutional."
The Kentucky governor Mystal is referring to is centrist Democrat Andy Beshear, who is up for reelection. Mystal notes that "if McConnell retires while Beshear is in office," Beshear "gets to fill his seat temporarily."
"The Kentucky law requires the governor to pick a senator from the same party as the retiring senator, and requires the governor to pick from a list of three candidates provided by the executive committee of the departing senator's political party," Mystal notes. "The Kentucky Legislature passed the law over Beshear's veto."
Read Elie Mystal's full article for The Nation at this link.
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