“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,” McConnell said. The ‘Biden rule’ Other leading Republicans followed McConnell’s lead.
A reason they frequently cited: What they called the “Biden rule.” Joe Biden had said in a 1992 Senate floor speech — when there were no high court vacancies to fill — that “once the political season is under way, and it is, action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over.”
McConnell never backtracked, despite Democrats’ hopes that he would face political pressure to do so. On February 23, a week after Scalia’s death and before Obama had nominated his replacement, McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor that no Obama nominee would receive a vote.Here’s what happened when Senate Republicans refused to vote on Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court nomination – CNNPolitics