On Friday, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away at age 87.
Later that night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that he has decided to put a nominee on the floor for a vote once he gets a name from President Donald Trump, Fox News reported.
Trump and McConnell are hoping to move quickly in replacing Justice Ginsburg. If Trump is able to get a nominee confirmed before election day, the conservative side of the bench will hold a 6-3 edge, though Chief Justice John Roberts is a bit of a wild card.
McConnell announced Friday night that he has every intention of getting a nominee of the floor, even before the election. “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” he said.
He also defended his stance of not putting President Barack Obama’s nominee on the floor for a vote after Justice Scalia died.
“Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year,” McConnell said.
Even though McConnell plans on holding a vote, there is no guarantee that the nominee will be confirmed.
At least two GOP senators — Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) — have already balked at the idea of pushing through a justice so close to the election.
It is also a fairly safe assumption that Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) would oppose a SCOTUS appointment this late in Trump’s term as well, so it is unlikely anyone will get seated until after the election is held.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has demanded the Senate seat another justice prior to the election, claiming it could create a constitutional crisis if the upcoming election is held with only eight justices.
He reasoned that with Democrats already planning to fight election results, we need a full court to settle any legal disputes, and any election lawsuit would ultimately land before the Supreme Court.
A possible 4 to 4 ruling would mean these issues could be prolonged, leaving our country without a duly elected and recognized president come inauguration day.