President Donald Trump has indicated that, much to the dismay of the Democrats, he will nominate a candidate to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Democrats, desperate to stop Trump from putting another conservative justice on the court, are arguing that it’s too close to the presidential election to do so.
On Saturday, President Trump, however, defended his decision to put forth a Supreme Court nominee.
“We have this obligation”
According to the president, he sees himself as having an “obligation” to put forth a replacement for Ginsburg. Trump said as much in a tweet aimed at Republicans on Saturday morning.
“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,” the president wrote. “We have this obligation, without delay!”
Democrats are criticizing Trump for saying that he will name a replacement for Ginsburg, pointing to 2016 when then-candidate Trump argued that, rather than then-President Barack Obama, Obama’s successor ought to name the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement.
Also under pressure is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who, in 2016, refused to allow the Senate to vote on Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland.
It’s going to happen
Just like President Trump, however, McConnell has indicated that he will allow a Senate vote on Trump’s nominee.
McConnell also defended his decision shortly after the passing of Ginsburg. And, according to McConnell, it has nothing to do with hypocrisy.
“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,” McConnell explained. “Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year.”
This is quite different from the present situation, McConnell went on to argue:
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. Once again, we will keep our promise. President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.
Difficult time ahead
McConnell, in a leaked letter to his Senate colleagues, warned them: “This is not the time to prematurely lock yourselves into a position you may later regret.”
Whether or not Trump’s nominee is confirmed will likely come down to those senators who kind of sit on the Republican-Democrat fence. And, whether or not these senators are re-elected could depend on how they vote on Trump’s nominee.