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Toobin: McConnell engaging in ‘greatest act of hypocrisy in American political history’ with Ginsburg replacement vote

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin argued Friday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “could engage in the greatest act of hypocrisy in American political history” bringing President Trump’s Supreme Court justice pick to a vote in the Senate.

The perspective came shortly after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s died Friday due to pancreatic cancer at age 87.

Her death and vacancy she has left at the high court has sparked fierce debate over whether Trump should move forward with nominating his third justice in as many years.

“The idea Mitch McConnell could engage in the greatest act of hypocrisy in American political history by stopping Merrick Garland who faced a vacancy in February of an election year, and jamming someone through when there is a vacancy in September of an election year — I don’t think that’s a foregone conclusion,” Toobin said on “CNN Tonight.”

In 2016, Republicans blocked former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick Merrick Garland from obtaining a vote on the Senate floor. Garland would have replaced now-deceased Justice Antonin Scalia.

At the time, several GOP members including Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) have said they did not believe in confirming a justice before an election.

“I also recognize that there are only 53 Republicans in the Senate,” he continued. “Will Mitt Romney go along with this? Will Lisa Murkowski? Will Susan Collins? Will Lamar Alexander?”

Democrats can “pretend they are powerless in this situation, or they can pick a fight for once,” Toobin later added.

President Trump indicated in a Saturday tweet he will move swiftly to nominate a replacement for 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,” Trump said.

“We have this obligation, without delay!”

The GOP controls the Senate, 53-47. If three Republicans defect on Trump’s choice, Vice President Pence would serve as a tiebreaker in a 50-50 tie.

The Senate voted 50-48 to confirm Trump’s last nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, in 2018.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) skipped the vote to attend his daughter’s wedding.
Sen. Lisa Murkowksi (R-Alaska), who had opposed Kavanaugh, voted present.

Only Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) crossed party lines to vote for Kavanaugh.

Tags Antonin Scalia Barack Obama Brett Kavanaugh Donald Trump Jeffrey Toobin Joe Manchin Lamar Alexander Lindsey Graham Lisa Murkowski Merrick Garland Mitch McConnell Mitt Romney Ruth Bader Ginsberg Ruth Bader Ginsburg SCOTUS Steve Daines Supreme Court vacancy Susan Collins U.S. Supreme Court

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