By all accounts, President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are prepared to move forward with efforts to confirm a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at the age of 87, NPR reported. But not everyone is convinced that pushing full steam ahead is a smart move.
Fox News legal analyst and former New Jersey Judge Andrew Napolitano is warning lawmakers to tread carefully when it comes to nominating a new justice to the nation’s highest court. “It’s a bit of a gamble,” Napolitano said of replacing Ginsburg on Saturday’s episode of Fox & Friends Weekend, according to Fox.
Guided by the polls
According to Fox, Napolitano heralded Ginsburg in his Saturday talk, calling her an “iconic” member of the high court — a sentiment shared by most on the left. Whoever replaces her, Napolitano said, better be ready for a fight.
“This new person, who probably will be half of Justice Ginsburg’s age, better have very thick skin because the Democrats will do all they can either to crush this person or to prevent a vote on the person until we see who wins the election,” the former judge and opinion columnist remarked, according to Fox.
Of course, there’s always a chance that some Democrats — or even some Republicans — could defect.
“It’s going to depend upon what the polls say,” Napolitano said Saturday on Fox. “Do the polls say the people want the next president — whether it’s a re-elected Donald Trump or a newly elected Joe Biden — to choose the replacement for Justice Ginsburg? Or do the polls say the people want a nine-member Supreme Court in place immediately?”
Napolitano went on: “I think a lot of Democrats and some Republicans will be guided by those polls.”
“We have this obligation”
Napolitano was also asked Saturday if there is any way that Democrats could stop a determined Trump and McConnell from pressing forward with a nomination. His answer? Not much.
“The only thing they can do is to pick off vulnerable Republicans,” he said, noting that the impending confirmation fight seems to have “nationalized” all Senate races. “Now, all politics is going to be who should replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” he said.
The judge went on to cite Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) as an example, suggesting that if she determines that “voting for President Trump’s nominee is going to impair her ability to get re-elected, she’s going to vote with the Democrats. They only need two or three others who feel that way and then Mitch McConnell will not have a majority on the floor,” Napolitano explained, according to Fox.
President Trump, for his part, has promised to nominate a new justice to the high court “without delay.” At a campaign rally Saturday, he vowed to choose a woman to fill Ginsburg’s seat, according to the BBC.
.@GOP We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2020