CNA Staff, Sep 18, 2020 / 18:22 pm
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday night that after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Trump Supreme Court nominee will be voted on for confirmation by the United States Senate.
In a statement released Friday night, McConnell said that “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
McConnell elaborated on that decision, saying that “in the last midterm election before Justice Scalia’s death in 2016, Americans elected a Republican Senate majority because we pledged to check and balance the last days of a lame-duck president’s second term. We kept our promise. Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year.”
“By contrast, Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary, we will keep our promise,” McConnell said.
In March 2016, President Barack Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court seat that had been held by Justice Antonin Scalia. Senate Republicans did not consider Garland’s nomination, saying that it would be more appropriate to wait until after the November election to fill the Court vacancy.
After his 2017 inauguration, Trump appointed Neil Gorsuch to fill Scalia’s seat, and the nominee was confirmed by the senate.
Senate Democrats have pointed to that 2016 decision in response to McConnell’s Sept. 18 statement.
A Trump appointment could tip the balance of the court to a 6-3 conservative majority, which Republicans have said would lead to the court overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that ensured legal protection for abortion across the U.S.