Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) said on Sunday that while the option of filibustering a Supreme Court nominee was now the "precedent" of the Senate, he would be hard pressed to do so during the upcoming confirmation battle.
Speaking on Fox News Sunday, the Kentucky Republican said it would be "highly unlikely" that Republicans would filibuster President Obama's pick to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. "Unless," he added, "the nominee is an extraordinary individual, outside the mainstream, with really bizarre views."
McConnell argued that the belief that Supreme Court nominees shouldn't be subjected to a filibuster -- once considered sacrosanct -- no longer applied to the current political climate. By voting against cloture on George W. Bush picks, he said, Democrats had dispensed with that custom.
But the bar for filibuster, McConnell added, remained high and would continue to be so for Obama's next selection.
"I have never filibustered a Supreme Court nominee," he said, "the president, the vice president and Senator [Harry] Reid have. So far I've never done that, it would take an unusual nominee to justify that."