During his first speech on the Senate floor since the court announced Ginsburg’s death, McConnell said, “President Trump’s nominee for this vacancy will receive a vote on the floor of the Senate.”
He continued to claim that “the same individuals who tried every conceivable dirty trick to obstruct Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh are lining up to proclaim the third time will be the charm.”
“The American people are about to witness an astonishing parade of misrepresentations about the past, misstatements about the present, and more threats against our institutions from the same people… who’ve already been saying for months they want to pack the Court,” he added.
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The Supreme Court announced on Friday that Ginsburg, 87, died due to complications from pancreatic cancer, as IJR reported.
Her death and the vacancy that has opened up on the court has touched off a new political battle over whether Republicans in the Senate should move to hold hearings and a confirmation vote on President Donald Trump’s nominee.
Democrats have strongly warned Republicans against pushing through a confirmation with just over a month left till the election.
However, McConnell said, “We’re already hearing incorrect claims that there is not enough time to examine and confirm a nominee. We can debunk this myth in about 30-seconds.”
“As of today, there are 43-days until November 3 and 104-days until the end of this Congress. The late, iconic, Justice John Paul Stevens was confirmed by the Senate 19-days after this body formally received his nomination,” he continued.
McConnell also noted that Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s confirmation process took 33-days, and Ginsburg’s confirmation process took 42 days.
“Justice Stevens’ entire confirmation process could have been played out twice, twice, between now and November 3, with time to spare,” he said.
Finally, McConnell argued, “The Senate has more than sufficient time to process a nomination. History and precedent make that perfectly clear.”
Former President Barack Obama released a statement after Ginsburg’s death in which he said, “Four and a half years ago, when Republicans refused to hold a hearing or an up-or-down vote on Merrick Garland, they invented the principle that the Senate shouldn’t fill an open seat on the Supreme Court before a new president was sworn in.”
“A basic principle of the law — and of everyday fairness — is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous in the moment,” he added.
Still, some Senate Republicans voiced their desire to move forward with the confirmation process “without delay.”