WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced a Trump Supreme Court nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate following the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said.
Her death just over six weeks before Election Day is likely to set off a heated battle over whether President Donald Trump should nominate, and the Republican-led Senate should confirm, her replacement, or if the seat should remain vacant until the outcome of his race against Democrat Joe Biden is known.
In 2016 following the death of Antonin Scalia, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to act on Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to fill the opening. The seat remained vacant until after Trump’s surprising presidential victory. McConnell has said he would move to confirm a Trump nominee if there were a vacancy this year.
Reached by phone late Friday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, declined to disclose any plans. He called Ginsburg a “trailblazer” and said, “While I had many differences with her on legal philosophy, I appreciate her service to our nation.”
Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer tweeted: “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”
Florida Sen. Rick Scott said in a statement following the passing of Ginsburg: ““It would be irresponsible to allow an extended vacancy on the Supreme Court. I believe that President Trump’s nominee should get a vote in the U.S. Senate.”
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