In the wake of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death this week, a political battle has emerged regarding whether the Senate should vote to confirm her replacement during the current presidential term.
For his part, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) recommends a nomination and subsequent vote beginning as early as next week in an effort to avoid the “constitutional crisis” that could result otherwise, as reported by The Hill.
“A responsibility to do our job”
His remarks came on Friday evening during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s Hannity.
“We have a responsibility to do our job,” Cruz said. “We cannot let Election Day come and go and with a 4-4 court … we risk a constitutional crisis. I believe that the president next week should nominate a successor to the court … and I think that it is critical that the Senate takes up and confirms that successor.”
While many GOP leaders are similarly on board with a near-term vote to confirm Ginsburg’s replacement, some — including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — are facing accusations of hypocrisy after blocking a lame-duck vote on then-President Barack Obama’s pick to replace Justice Antonin Scalia after his 2016 death.
Both senators have since spoken out in defense of their current positions, though, including in a statement McConnell released amid growing backlash from across the aisle.
“Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary,” he wrote. “Once again, we will keep our promise. President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
“Rules have changed”
Although Graham specifically stated in 2016 that he would oppose a vote like the one he now supports, he maintains that the “rules have changed” in light of Democratic Party behavior during the intervening years. Specifically, he cited the Democrats’ contentious treatment of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings.
With a Republican majority in the Senate, it appears all that remains is for President Trump to pull the trigger and nominate a replacement, thus allowing the confirmation process to play out.
Of course, prominent leftists like Reza Aslan are openly advocating for extreme measures in an attempt to stop the Republican effort.
“If they even TRY to replace RBG we burn the entire f***ing thing down,” Aslan tweeted in a sentiment echoed in various ways by countless others.
While it remains to be seen whether these statements will actually incite more violence and rioting, the past few months have shown that some leftists are willing to resort to lawlessness if they don’t get their way.