It is official. The Republicans have enough votes to install Ginsburg’s replacement on the Supreme Court, but it remains to be seen if Republicans allow the Democrats to run out the clock on them. Both Cory Gardner and Chuck Grassley expressed support for confirming a new judge before the election. Republicans now have at least 50 votes but in the case of a 50-50 tie VP Mike Pence casts the deciding vote.
Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins have both declared that they will not vote for any nominee. Mitt Romney is a probable no vote, but that still leaves 50 voters. Democrats are left with nothing in their arsenal but tricks. They will try to delay any way they can. It has even been suggested that the House could try to impeach both President Trump and AG Bill Barr.
But, I’m not sure that would accomplish anything since Mitch McConnell controls what the Senate votes on. He could decide an impeachment trial can wait until after the vote on the SCOTUS nominee. Needless to say, the Democrats are upset. They are insisting that Ginsburg’s alleged deathbed wish should be honored. The constitution does not recognize deathbed wishes.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will likely be able to push the Senate to consider a nomination to the Supreme Court after several Republicans made statements of support on Monday.
Democrats and their supporters were hopeful that enough moderates would break from the party line in order to doom the effort to fill the seat left empty by the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday.
Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said in a statement that he would not stand in the way of another nomination by President Donald Trump.
“Over the years, and as recently as July, I’ve consistently said that taking up and evaluating a nominee in 2020 would be a decision for the current chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Senate Majority Leader.”
McConnell has confirmed that there will be a vote on Trump’s nominee before the election and he can bring the vote without even his own party’s objections. Lindsey Graham has informed the Judiciary Committee that there will be committee hearings on the eventual nominee. Trump has promised that the nominee would be a woman. The current front-runner is Amy Coney Barrett.
“When a President exercises constitutional authority to nominate a judge for the Supreme Court vacancy. The Senate must decide how to best fulfill its constitutional duty of advice and consent.”
“I have and will continue to support judicial nominees who will protect our Constitution. Not legislate from the bench, and uphold the law. Should a qualified nominee who meets this criteria be put forward, I will vote to confirm.”
There have been 29 nominees for the Supreme Court made in presidential election years. Ten were voted on before the election when the same party held the Senate and the White House. Nine were confirmed. Another nine were voted on during the lame-duck session. Eight were confirmed. Ten nominations were made with split in parties. Only one was confirmed. But that one was in the 1880’s.
History is on the Republican’s side. There is plenty of precedent to use as the rule. Democrats said it was hypocrisy to push one through now. After all, they took no vote on Garland in 2016. But the parties were split. They are not split at this time. With today’s announcements, the nomination should go through before the election. Republicans need the cushion to offset Chief Justice John Roberts. He votes with the Democrats on major issues sometimes. The law be damned.