President Donald Trump urged Republicans on Saturday to act quickly to confirm a Supreme Court Justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“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,” the president wrote on Twitter. “We have this obligation, without delay!”
Trump also pointed to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to end the 60 vote filibuster rule for judges, effectively handing Republicans the power to confirm a new justice with a simple majority.
“Thank you Harry!” he wrote:
The idea that Republicans would move to nominate a replacement for Ginsburg in an election year infuriated leftists and prominent Democrats on Saturday night.
“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote on Twitter shortly after the news of Ginsburg’s death was announced. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”
Former President Barack Obama also protested the idea, as he was denied a Supreme Court nomination to replace Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.
“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 wrote in a statement, asserting that Republicans “invented the principle that the Senate shouldn’t fill an open seat on the Supreme Court before a new president was sworn in.”
But Sen. Mitch McConnell said that Americans retained a Republican Senate majority during the 2018 midterms, giving them the authority to confirm a future Supreme Court nominee from President Donald Trump.
“President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” he wrote in a statement.