Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged on Friday to hold a Senate vote on President Donald Trump's nominee to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg had died just hours earlier of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer at the age of 87.
Ginsburg herself said just a few days before her death that she did not want her seat to be filled until after the election. "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed," she told her granddaughter.
In the months leading up to the 2016 election, McConnell refused to consider President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland after the death that February of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. But this situation — in which he's trying to shoehorn a justice picked by President Trump just 46 days before a presidential election — is different, he says, making sure to justify his decision by reminding us that Republicans are, in fact, in both the presidency and the U.S. Senate.
"Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president's Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year," McConnell said in a statement. "By contrast, Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we worked with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary. Once again, we will keep our promise."
A right-wing justice would give the Supreme Court a 6-3 conservative majority, which could affect all types of issues from the Affordable Care Act to Roe v. Wade.
So far, at least four Republican Senators have pledged that they will not consider a Supreme Court appointment until after the next inauguration, including Susan Collins, Chuck Grassley, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney.
Democrats are calling for the Senate to wait until a new president is installed to vote on a Supreme Court nominee, saying that McConnell set a precedent with his refusal to consider Garland.
But McConnell has shown time and time again that he doesn't care about precedent, or being a decent human — he only cares about power for the Republican Party.