McConnell Campaign Site's 404 Error Page Features Image of Merrick Garland

Judge Merrick Garland speaks after being introduced by President Barack Obama as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden at the White House, March 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. / Getty Images
Judge Merrick Garland / Getty Images
April 17, 2019

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R., Ky.) official campaign website has an error page that features the image of the Supreme Court nominee who wasn't, Merrick Garland.

Anyone who heads to but types in a faulty URL will be greeted with a blue photo of Garland when he was nominated for the Supreme Court in 2016, with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden flanking him at the White House.

"Oops, this page doesn't exist. But just in case, go donate and make sure it doesn't come back," the text reads.

It's a clear wink at the infuriated critics who don't forgive McConnell for not giving a hearing or vote to Garland, citing the "Biden rule" of not voting on a Supreme Court pick during an election year.

It was a gambit that worked out spectacularly for Republicans. Donald Trump was elected president that year, and he nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the seat Obama intended for Garland. It had been left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

The blocking of Garland has made "packing" the Supreme Court a trendy position among some 2020 Democratic candidates, including Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. Former Hillary Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon is also a backer of the next Democratic president adding justices to make up for the "stolen" seat.

McConnell's Senate reelection campaign in Kentucky officially launched Wednesday, and his team produced a three-minute video that, among other things, touted McConnell's efforts to block Garland and confirm Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. He is seeking a seventh term in office.

The video also featured extensive footage of praise of McConnell from Trump. McConnell has made confirming Trump's judicial nominees a priority of his Republican Senate majority, and he's also widely credited with getting the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed and to Trump's desk for signature in 2017.