“I believe we should wait until after the next election and let the American people pick the next president, and [then the U.S. Congress] should consider who the next president nominates,” McCain told local talk radio host Mike Broomhead.
The people of Twitter and Facebook were not pleased.
“I must have missed that part in Constitution where it states during [his] last year a President shouldn't fulfill his duties,” one tweet stated.
“Since when does the sitting President only serve 3 years and 2 months of [his] term? Should EVERY president from here forward not fulfill their constitutional duty?” another said.
To be fair, McCain wasn’t the first to suggest that Obama should hold off on nominating anyone – that award goes to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who declared just hours after the news of Scalia’s death broke that "The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice, [meaning] this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”
And if you caught Saturday night’s Republican presidential debate, all six candidates on stage suggested that Obama shouldn’t be allowed to appoint a justice, or that the Congress should go out of its way to block any candidates if he does – “Delay, delay, delay,” GOP frontrunner Donald Trump announced.
Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio followed with a comment that no lame duck president in recent history has appointed a Supreme Court Justice in an election year, which the moderator quickly pointed out was incorrect: Justice Anthony Kennedy was appointed to the court by President Ronald Reagan in February 1988.
But while Cruz and Rubio can argue that had they been in the Senate in 1988, they would have felt the same way about Kennedy’s appointment, McCain can’t quite use the same defense given that he was in the Senate and voted to approve Kennedy.
And perhaps predictably, Twitter and Facebook did not let him off the hook. Here’s a roundup of our favorite reactions to McCain’s declaration:
@SenJohnMcCain so you won't be taking part in any Senate votes this year, right?— Mike Rothschild (@rothschildmd) February 15, 2016
@SenJohnMcCain That awkward moment when you remember you confirmed Justice Kennedy in an election year— Chris Aquino (@THEaquino) February 15, 2016
@BorderGuy78 we really need limits on how many terms congress can serve— Chet Lemonade (@AdSal44) February 15, 2016
And last, but certainly not least, our two favorite reactions: