Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday that he will force a vote on whomever President Trump nominates to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, signaling a brutal fight later this year.
Mr. McConnell did not lay out timing, but said flatly that “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
Justice Ginsburg passed away Friday, with just weeks to go before the presidential election. She reportedly made a deathbed statement saying she wanted the seat to be filled by whoever wins in November.
That was the same logic Mr. McConnell used in 2016 to deny action on President Obama’s nominee to fill the seat of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February of that year, as the presidential primaries were underway.
But Mr. McConnell says that was different.
At that time the Senate was controlled by Republicans, while Mr. Obama was a Democrat. Mr. McConnell said this year there’s a Republican president and a GOP Senate.
“In the last midterm election before Justice Scalia’s death in 2016, Americans elected a Republican Senate majority because we pledged to check and balance the last days of a lame-duck president’s second term. We kept our promise. Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year,” he said in a statement Friday.
“By contrast, Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary. Once again, we will keep our promise,” he said.