Donald Trump

Who Died? Sen. Lindsey Graham Gets Supreme Court Justice Death Wrong During Confirmation Hearing

Graham meant Justice Antonin Scalia, who died on Feb. 13 last year

Whoops — Sen. Lindsey Graham killed off U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Tuesday morning.

"Justice Alito passed away in February," the South Carolina senator said as he questioned President Donald Trump's nominee for the vacancy on the high court, Judge Neil Gorsuch.

Graham's comment came as he addressed the controversial decision by Senate Republicans not to consider former President Barack Obama's pick for the court, Judge Merrick Garland. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argued in March 2016 that the American people should have a voice in the process.

There had already been three primaries by then, Graham said.

"The campaign season in my view was afoot," he said.

There was only one problem: Alito of course is very much alive.

Graham meant Justice Antonin Scalia, who died on Feb. 13 last year. 

He soon realized his error and said he had to correct the record. "Bad news, bad mistake," he said.

For Gorsuch's part, the second day of his hearing went more smoothly, as he declined to comment on difficult topics Democrats pressed him on, including Trump's campaign promise to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.

And he declined to respond to a question about the Judiciary Committee's handling of Garland's nomination.

"I can't get involved in politics and there's judicial canons that prevent me from doing that," Gorsuch said. "I think it would be imprudent."

In a lighter exchange with Gorsuch, Graham praised Trump's choice. He said he had been worried about whom the "Celebrity Apprentice" reality star would pick. 

"Maybe someone on TV," Graham joked.

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