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Republican senator says plans to confirm justice before election ‘completely consistent with the precedent’

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said Sunday that Senate Republicans’ plans to move toward confirming a new Supreme Court justice weeks before the 2020 election are “completely consistent with precedent.”

The senator argued on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “if the shoe were on the other foot” and Democrats had the White House and Senate, they would make the same move.

{mosads}”What we’re proposing is completely consistent, completely consistent with the precedent,” he said. 

Host Chuck Todd questioned Barrasso about his statements in 2016 rejecting a confirmation vote for then-President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, nine months ahead of the election. The Republican responded that this time is different, because the Republicans have control of the White House and Senate, unlike in 2016.

“But now when you have both parties in the White House and the Senate, historically the confirmation goes forward, and that’s what’s gonna happen here,” he said.

Todd continued to press Barrasso on his remarks from four years ago, when the senator called to “give the people a voice” in choosing the next Supreme Court justice. 

“Why is it that this principle only matters when a Democrat is in the White House?” Todd asked.

“It’s not that at all Chuck,” Barrasso replied. “If we did something different now we would be breaking with the precedent that has long been established that if the president and the Senate are of the same party, you move along with confirmation.”

“This is the consistent principle and policies that have been followed through the history of the United States when 29 vacancies occurred in years of presidential elections,” he added. “We’re gonna be consistent with all that.”

The Wyoming senator also warned that Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said “nothing is off the table” if Republicans confirm a new justice. 

The Supreme Court announced late Friday that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer.

President Trump has said he expects to nominate a woman to fill the Supreme Court vacancy this week, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who blocked Garland’s confirmation in 2016, said he will bring a confirmation vote for Trump’s nominee to the floor.

Tags Chuck Schumer Chuck Todd Donald Trump Ginsburg death John Barrasso Merrick Garland Mitch McConnell Ruth Bader Ginsburg Sunday shows Supreme Court Supreme Court confirmation Supreme Court nomination

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