The impact of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on Court 4:17
(WAB NEWS) – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised on Friday that whoever President Donald Trump appoints to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will get a vote in the Senate, signaling a historic struggle in the Congress on one of the most polarizing issues in American politics.
“President Trump’s candidate will receive a vote in the full United States Senate,” McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said in a statement Friday night. The statement already puts him on a collision path with the Democrats, although the exact timing of such a fight was not immediately clear.RELATED
GOP advisers are skeptical that there will be enough time to confirm a candidate before November 3. This given that nominations for the Supreme Court typically take two to three months to process, according to a review of recent confirmation procedures.
But that process could be accelerated if McConnell, who controls a majority of the Senate, has the votes to confirm a replacement, and there is enough time to confirm someone in a session of Congress after the November election.
That calculation is further complicated if Republicans lose control of the Senate and the White House after the election. And if enough Republican senators break ranks and oppose anyone appointed by a president who just lost his election and a Republican Senate who just lost its majority.
Senate Republicans, who have a majority in the upper house, only need 51 votes to confirm a new judge once one is formally appointed. There are currently 53 senators from the party, which means that only three Republicans can lose. In the event of a 50-50 split, Vice President Mike Pence could cast a tiebreaker vote.
This was the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg 5:16 Forward positions on Ginsburg’s replacement
Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine have already said there is not enough time to confirm someone before November.
Collins told The New York Times this month that he would object to a candidate being in session toward the end of the term if Joe Biden wins the White House.
It is unclear whether more Republicans would break ranks.
CNN has reached out to Collins, Murkowski and Senator Mitt Romney of Utah – among others – to find out their position on the matter.
In July, Republican leaders signaled that they would confirm a candidate this year.
“We will,” said Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the second Republican leader, when asked if the Senate would fill a vacancy, even during a session after the election. That would be part of this year. We would advance it, “he added.
But Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wasn’t sure if he would agree with that.
«I would like to fill a vacancy. But we would have to see. I don’t know how practical that would be, ”Graham told CNN in July.
Schumer: This vacancy shouldn’t be filled until we have a new president
McConnell’s promise that a candidate would get a vote sparked a confrontation with the top Senate Democrat, Chuck Schumer of New York, who said Friday that a vacancy on the Supreme Court “should not be filled until we have a new president.”
“The American people should have a say in selecting their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president ”, tweeted the top Senate Democrat after knowing the news of the death of the judge.
Tonight, we mourn the passing of a giant in American history, a champion of justice, a pioneer for women. She would like us all to fight as hard as possible to preserve her legacy, ”Schumer wrote.
Ginsburg died Friday of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court announced. He was 87 years old.
Earlier this year, McConnell reiterated his position that the Republican-led Senate would confirm a candidate for any Supreme Court vacancy that occurred this election year. This despite having left a vacant position in 2016 and having prevented President Barack Obama’s candidate from being considered.
Praise in Republican ranks for Ginsburg
Graham expressed his condolences on Ginsburg’s passing.
“It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Judge Ginsburg. Judge Ginsburg was a trailblazer with a tremendous passion for her causes. She served with honor and distinction as a member of the Supreme Court, ”she tweeted.
He went on to say, “Although I had many differences with her in legal philosophy, I appreciate her service to our nation. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. Rest in peace”.
Ginsburg was appointed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. In recent years she served as the most important member of the liberal wing of the court. She consistently cast progressive votes on divisive social issues. This included votes on abortion rights, same-sex marriage, and voting rights. Also immigration, health care and affirmative action issues.
CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi and Joan Biskupic contributed to this report.