The morning after the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Trump signaled that he would move quickly to nominate a new justice prior to the election.
President Trump expressed his sentiments about appointing a new justice on Twitter, stating: “We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!”
.@GOP We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2020
In another tweet, the president also thanked former Democrat Senator Harry Reid for abolishing the requirement that presidential appointees must receive 60 votes for confirmation back in 2013, a move that many people warned would backfire on the Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell extended that policy to Supreme Court nominees in 2017.
The second woman to serve on the nation’s highest court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, passed away on Friday night at 87 years old from complications due to metastatic pancreatic cancer.
President Trump was on stage at a rally in Minnesota when Ginsburg’s passing was reported, and did not learn of it until after he concluded his speech about an hour later.
Reporters asked the president about her death after he stepped off the stage, and it appeared that this was the first he had heard of it. “She just died? Wow. I didn’t know that. You’re telling me now for the first time. She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman. Whether you agreed or not, she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life,” said Trump.
Moving for a Supreme Court Nominee
Senator McConnell said in a statement shortly after news of Ginsburg’s death was reported that he would move on a nomination from Trump. “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” the Senate Majority Leader said.
Though McConnell and President Trump have not issued a timeline yet, there is little doubt that Republicans will attempt to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court before the election.
Earlier this month, the president issued a revamped list of potential nominees to the Supreme Court, which included big names such as Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Tom Cotton, and Senator Josh Hawley, among others. Despite these additions, it is believed that Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett is among the front-runners to replace Ginsburg.
Democrats are complaining about supposed hypocrisy concerning the Senate’s willingness to confirm a justice so close to a presidential election, citing the Republican’s refusal to holding a hearing to confirm Obama appointee Merrick Garland close to the 2016 election.
“Four and a half years ago, when Republicans refused to hold a hearing or an up-or-down vote on Merrick Garland, they invented the principle that the Senate shouldn’t fill an open seat on the Supreme Court before a new president was sworn in,” Obama said in a statement on Friday.