Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to hold a vote on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat, just moments after her death at age 87 Friday evening. Ginsburg's final wish was reported that she not be replaced until the next presidential election, which is less than 50 days away, is completed. Trump has not announced a nominee yet but is expected to do so quickly.
Ginsburg was "thoroughly dedicated to the legal profession and to her 27 years of service on the Supreme Court," McConnell wrote. "Her intelligence and determination earned her respect and admiration throughout the legal world, and indeed throughout the entire nation, which now grieves alongside her family, friends, and colleagues." At the end of his statement, McConnell wrote, "President Trump's nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate."
NEWS: Mitch McConnell on Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death and the Supreme Court: "President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate." pic.twitter.com/x65zoNjGM3— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) September 19, 2020
In 2016, McConnell refused to hold a vote on Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia after his death in February 2016. "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," McConnell wrote to justify holding a vote during the 2020 presidential campaign. "Once again, we will keep our promise."
Top Republican sources told Axios Trump will move "within days" to announce a nominee. One Republican close to the White House told the outlet that if McConnell and Trump did not move fast before Nov. 3, the "Republican base will revolt, sit home." If Trump does have another justice confirmed, Trump will have an unprecedented third successful confirmation in barely four years in office.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded to Ginsburg's death by tweeting the same statement McConnell made in 2016. "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," the New York Democrat wrote. He later added, "Tonight, we mourn the passing of a giant in American history, a champion for justice, a trailblazer for women. She would want us all to fight as hard as we can to preserve her legacy."
Ginsburg died at her Washington, D.C. home on Friday from complications of pancreatic cancer. "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed," Ginsburg told her granddaughter Clara Spara days before her death, reports NPR.