Joe Biden says election winner should pick Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement
Joe Biden has demanded Republicans resist nominating a new US Supreme Court justice until the 2020 election is held.
The Democratic nominee for president was speaking moments after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died from pancreatic cancer aged 87 just six weeks out from the election.
The death of the women’s equality champion has turned the election on its head, with Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowing that the Senate will vote to replace Justice Ginsburg with Donald Trump’s pick even though he may not win the election.
However, Mr Biden declared ‘voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice to consider’.
He said: ‘This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election.
‘That’s the position the US Senate should take today and the election is only 46 days off.
‘The fastest justice ever confirmed was 47 days and the average is closer to 70 days.
‘We should do this with full consideration and that is my hope and expectation that could happen.’
Mr McConnell sets the calendar for the Senate and has made making new judicial appointments his priority.
In 2016, he refused to consider Barack Obama’s choice for the high court months ahead of the election.
The Republican will open himself up to accusations of hypocrisy if he allows the Senate to consider a new pick at this time.
Mr Trump has not yet indicated if he would nominate a new Supreme Court justice ahead of the election.
Learning of Justice Ginsburg’s death from reporters at a campaign rally in Minnesota, Mr Trump praised her as an ‘amazing woman who led an amazing life’.
He said: ‘What else can you say?
‘Whether you agreed with her or not, she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life.’
Mr Trump and Mr McConnell have made two lifelong appointments to the Supreme Court – Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanagh.
The president said last month he would ‘absolutely’ try to fill a vacancy if one came up before the end of his first term.
He has previously vowed to appoint conservative pro-life justices to the court.
‘I would move quickly,’ Mr Trump said.
‘Why not? I mean, they would. The Democrats would if they were in this position.’
Days before her death, Justice Ginsburg told her daughter: ‘My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.’
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