Cruz says Senate Republicans likely have votes to confirm Trump Supreme Court nominee
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on Sunday that Senate Republicans have the votes to confirm President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, noting it was “particularly important” that the chamber do so before Election Day.
When asked by host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week” if Republicans have the votes to confirm a new justice, Cruz said it was likely. He then pivoted toward Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden challenging the election results while staunchly avoiding the notion that Trump has said he would do so if results show he lost.
“I believe we will,” Cruz said of having the votes to confirm a Supreme Court nomination. “I think it is particularly important that the Senate take it up and confirm this nomination before the election because Joe Biden has been explicit. He has said if he doesn’t win, he’s going to challenge this election. He’s going to go to court, he’s going to challenge, he’s already hired a big legal team. Hillary Clinton has told Joe Biden under no circumstances should you concede. Given that, there is a serious risk of a constitutional crisis if Joe Biden is bringing litigation like we had in Bush v. Gore.”
Biden has not explicitly said he would challenge the election results. Trump has repeatedly doubted the results of this year’s election should he lose, particularly rejecting the legitimacy of mail-in ballots states are turning to due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Senator, I have to stop you. As you know, it is President Trump who’s been the one talking about rigged elections. Joe Biden has not explicitly said he’s going to challenge the election,” Stephanopoulos said, acknowledging that all campaigns take on legal teams to analyze irregularities in election results.
Cruz said it is imperative that there be a full court on Election Day to avoid the chaos that followed the 2000 election, which the Supreme Court ultimately decided in a disputed recount of votes in Florida between George W. Bush and Al Gore.
“An equally divided court can’t decide anything,” Cruz said. “That could make this presidential election drag on weeks and months and well into next year. That is an intolerable situation for the country. We need a full court on Election Day given the very high likelihood that we’re going to see litigation that goes to the court.”
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said in a statement after Ginsburg’s death that the Senate should not vote for her successor before the election.
Sen. Lisa Murkowksi (R-Alaska) also said shortly before Ginsburg’s death was reported that she would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee before the election.