Democratic Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York reacted to the death Friday of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg by quoting his GOP counterpart, Sen. Mitch McConnell.
“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” he said on Twitter.
Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said those same words following the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016 during the administration of former President Barack Obama.
The death of Scalia, a conservative, created a vacancy that caused Mr. Obama, a Democrat, to nominate federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland as his successor on the Supreme Court.
Republicans in the Senate led by Mr. McConnell refused to consider Mr. Obama’s choice, however, reasoning that voters would be electing a new president practically nine months later in November.
Voters subsequently elected President Trump, a Republican, who in turn picked Neil Gorsuch to succeed Scalia within days of entering office. Senators confirmed that nomination in April 2017.
Justice Ginsburg, a liberal jurist appointed to the Supreme Court by former President Bill Clinton in 1993, died Friday from complications of pancreatic cancer. She was 87.
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” Justice Ginsburg said days before her death, NPR reported Friday.
Mr. Trump risks being voted out of the White House within a matter of weeks pending the results of the upcoming election between the GOP incumbent and Democratic challenger Joseph R. Biden.
In a statement later Friday, Mr. McConnell insisted the Senate will vote on whoever Mr. Trump selects to succeed Ms. Ginsburg.
Election Day is Nov. 3.