Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says he should be the one to fill the new Supreme Court vacancy if he wins the presidential election in November.
“If Donald Trump wins the election, then the Senate should move on with his selection and weigh the nominee he chooses fairly,” Biden said in a speech on Sept. 20.
Trump has vowed to announce a nominee to fill the vacancy this week.
Even if Trump lost the presidential election, the Senate could consider his nominee for the Supreme Court. However, Biden said, “If I win this election, President Trump’s nominee should be withdrawn, and as a new president, I should be the one who nominates Justice Ginsburg’s successor.”
“A nominee who should get a fair hearing in the Senate … before a confirmation vote,” he added.
Biden took aim at Trump and Senate Republicans as he accused them of trying to “jam a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court through the United States Senate.”
Watch the video below:
Joe Biden: "If Donald Trump wins the election, then the Senate should move on with his selection…but if I win this election, President Trump's nominee should be withdrawn and as a new president I should be the one who nominates Justice Ginsburg's successor." #SCOTUS pic.twitter.com/dIHnZfm6gT— CSPAN (@cspan) September 20, 2020
His comments come as a new battle has erupted over whether or not to fill the vacancy on the Court, which opened up in the wake of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, before the presidential election.
Many Democrats have noted that in 2016, Senate Republicans blocked former President Barack Obama from filling the vacancy on the Court that opened up that year as they cited the upcoming presidential election.
However, with Republicans in control of the White House and the Senate, several lawmakers have argued that precedent does not apply this time around.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has vowed that Trump’s nominee will get a vote on the Senate floor. In a statement, he said, “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
He continued to explain his position, “Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year.”
Republicans currently hold a slim 53-47 seat majority in the Senate. So far, Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) have said they believe the vacancy should be filled after the election.