President Trump tweeted a largely expected response Saturday morning to the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, saying the open seat should be filled without delay, as the election that could shake up a narrow Republican majority in the Senate, not to mention the White House occupant, is just 45 days away.
“@GOP 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. We have this obligation, without delay!” Trump tweeted.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Friday in the wake of news of the death of the liberal justice that any nomination advanced by Trump would get a Senate vote. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer had moments earlier referenced McConnell’s 2016 words in stating the view that the American people should have a voice, through their votes in the presidential election, in the selection of the next Supreme Court justice. The high court had a 5-4 conservative majority prior to Ginsburg’s death.
Some Republican senators, including Susan Collins of Maine, who is in a tough reelection fight, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Charles Grassley of Iowa, have in the past stated their dislike of Supreme Court decisions so close to major elections. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina also has a mixed history in discussing these kinds of votes, tweeting himself on Saturday that the current situation is “different” from when he’s spoken before. Uncertainty around their current views led to handicapping on Saturday by political analysts attempting to calculate how such a tight vote might play out.