It hasn’t even been a day since the news broke that Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away, and Donald Trump is already urging Republicans to move forward to fill her seat “without delay.”
In a tweet, the president called it his “obligation” to act quickly to select a new Supreme Court Justice.
“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,” Trump said. “We have this obligation, without delay!”
.@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
In other words, Trump is planning to move forward on selecting a nominee to replace Ginsburg with just 45 days until the November election – a move that will set up a bitter fight in the U.S. Senate and on the campaign trail.
It’s still unclear whether there are enough votes
Despite Trump’s fantasy of confirming another Supreme Court justice before the November election, it’s unclear whether Mitch McConnell has enough votes in the Senate to make it happen.
Almost immediately after Ginsburg’s passing, it was reported that Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski would not vote for a SCOTUS replacement until after the next president’s inauguration.
Sources also say that Mitt Romney has at least privately committed to not confirming a Supreme Court nominee until after Inauguration Day in 2021.
As PoliticusUSA’s Jason Easley noted, other GOP senators – Lindsey Graham, Chuck Grassley and Susan Collins – have said in the past that they will not entertain the idea of confirming a Supreme Court justice during an election year.
Democrats only need four Republican defections to block a Supreme Court confirmation. More than enough GOP senators are on record saying they would not vote for a nominee in the middle of a presidential campaign.
The massive open question is whether these GOP senators will stand by their word or follow Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell as they make a last-ditch, pre-election power grab.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.