Democrats believe that voting should take place only after the elections on November 3.
President Donald Trump on Saturday called on the Republican majority Senate to consider “without delay” the upcoming nomination of a conservative judge for the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Judge Ruth Bader Ginzburg.
Even before Ginzburg’s death, the White House began preparations to select a candidate for the seat it occupies. In recent years, the late judge was considered the undisputed leader of the liberal wing of the Supreme Court.
Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republican majority in the Senate, promised on Friday night, a few hours after Ginzburg’s death, to set a date of voting for the candidate to be nominated by Trump. The Democrats said the Republicans should follow the precedent set by conservative lawmakers in 2016 and not consider a Supreme Court candidate in the run-up to the election.
Trump made his point of view clear on Twitter on Saturday: “We received this power … to make decisions for the people who proudly elected us, the most important of which for a long time was considered the election of the supreme judge. We must do it without delay!”
Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden said any vote on this issue should be held after the November 3 election. “Voters must choose a president and the president must choose a judge for consideration (by the Senate),” Biden said.
Mitch McConnell, who sets the date of voting in the Senate, has already stated that the candidate nominated by Trump will be sent for consideration of senators. In 2016, McConnell refused to consider the election of President Barack Obama to the Supreme Court months before the election, which ultimately prevented a vote.
Commenting on the news of Ginsburg’s death, Trump said in a conversation with journalists that she was “a wonderful woman who lived a wonderful life.
Support for a Senate candidate is not guaranteed even under a Republican majority. McConnell didn’t say if there would be a vote before the election.
Usually, inspections and hearings of a candidate for the Supreme Court take several months, and there is little time left before an election. Some senators may not want to vote for a supreme judge so close to an election. Given the small advantage of Republicans in the Senate, where they hold 53 of 100 seats, Trump can afford to lose only a few votes.
The Democrats immediately accused McConnell of hypocrisy, recalling that he had refused to schedule a hearing on Merrick Garland, Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, 237 days before the 2016 election. There are 46 days left until the 2020 election.
Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden said on Friday that “there is no doubt” that the replacement of Ginzburg should choose the winner of the November presidential election.
“There is no doubt – let me explain – that voters must choose a president and the president must choose a judge to be considered by the Senate,” Biden told reporters when commenting on the news of Ginzburg’s death.
Last month Trump said he would “certainly” try to fill the vacancy if it happens before his first term ends. “I would act fast,” Trump told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, “Why not? I mean, they would do it. The democrats would have done it if they were in that position.
Reuters, citing a source, reports that two women judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals are on the presidential shortlist for the Supreme Court seat. Among the main candidates, according to the source, are Barbara Lagoa and Amy Coney Barrett, both of Cuban origin.
Barrett’s candidacy is likely to become more controversial. The judge has very conservative religious views. Human rights groups advocating for the right to abortion have already stated that if Barrett is approved, she is likely to vote to overturn the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision in Rowe v. Wade, which legalized abortion throughout the country.