The fight to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat before 2020 election has begun
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death jolts the Supreme Court firmly to the right and sets the stage for a heated battle over her empty seat just 46 days before the presidential election.
Within an hour of the Court announcing that the Justice had died, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had tweeted that President Trump’s nominee to fill her seat “will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.
And just as quickly, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted, “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”
His tweet was word-for-word the same as McConnell used in blocking then-President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill the Supreme Court seat of Antonin Scalia, who died nine months before the 2016 presidential election.
Without Ginsburg, the Court is left with just three steadfastly liberal justices: Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.
The reliably conservative justices, meanwhile, number four: Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito.
Chief Justice John Roberts, a sometimes swing voter, also leans to the right.
The Supreme Court is currently on recess — but behind the scenes, a war is already roiling.
Democrats now see filling her seat — during a hoped-for Joe Biden administration — as vital to preserving liberal landmark decisions, particularly the pro-choice protections of Roe V. Wade.
Republicans, meanwhile, see an opportunity to quickly push through what would be President Trump’s third Supreme Court justice.
In recent history, only Richard Nixon has installed three justices in a single term.
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