Court Battles

Two GOP governors urge Republicans to hold off on Supreme Court nominee

Republican Govs. Phil Scott (Vt.) and Charlie Baker (Mass.) called on President Trump and Senate Republicans to wait until after the November election to fill the Supreme Court vacancy following Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. 

The governors’ statements come in response to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) announcement Friday night that “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.” 

McConnell’s decision came about an hour after news broke that Ginsburg died at the age of 87 due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. 

Scott, who faces reelection in November, said in a series of tweets Friday evening that while he believes “it is important to take the time to mourn” Ginsburg’s death, he urged lawmakers “to follow precedent, as well as her dying wishes, and delay the appointment process until after Inauguration Day.” 

NPR on Friday obtained a statement Ginsburg dictated to her granddaughter days before the justice’s death, in which Ginsburg revealed that her “most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” 

Baker echoed Scott’s sentiments in a tweet Saturday, saying, “The passing of Justice Ginsburg is not only a loss for the court but for the entire nation.” 

The Massachusetts governor added, “I urge President Trump and the U.S. Senate to allow the American people to cast their ballots for President before a new justice is nominated or confirmed.” 

In a follow-up tweet, Baker argued that the Supreme Court “is too important to rush and must be removed from partisan political infighting.”

President Trump tweeted Saturday that he would be moving quickly 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, tagging the Republican Party’s official account. “We have this obligation, without delay!”

Several Democratic lawmakers vocalized their position that lawmakers should honor the late justice’s wishes and wait to fill the vacancy, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeting that McConnell “is cementing a shameful legacy of brazen hypocrisy.” 

Republicans in 2016 denied a confirmation hearing for former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick Merrick Garland, arguing at the time that a Supreme Court vacancy should not be filled during a presidential election year.

Tags Barack Obama Bernie Sanders Charlie Baker Donald Trump Ginsburg death Massachusetts Merrick Garland Mitch McConnell Phil Scott Ruth Bader Ginsburg Supreme Court vacancy U.S. Supreme Court Vermont

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