Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, said Sunday that the Senate could vote on President Trump’s Supreme Court pick before the Nov. 3 election but that he would defer to Senate leaders on specific timing for a vote.
He said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday of pancreatic cancer at the age of 87, was confirmed within 43 days of her nomination in 1993.
“Today, we sit here 44 days out from election, so it’s certainly possible,” Mr. Short said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “But I think that the president’s obligation is to make the nomination. We will leave the timetable to [Senate Majority] Leader [Mitch] McConnell.”
President Trump said Saturday he plans to nominate soon a replacement for Justice Ginsburg and the nominee will likely be a woman.
Two names that have been mentioned as top contenders are Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit and Judge Barbara Lagoa of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
Mr. McConnell said Friday that Mr. Trump’s nominee would get a vote on the Senate floor, though he did not get into details on timing.
Mr. Short said the historical precedent is clear.
“When you have a party in power in the Senate whose job it is to advise and consent and confirm the president’s nominee, it continually has shown, historically, that that is the job of the Senate to confirm the president’s nomination,” he said.
He said it’s the president’s obligation to make the nomination.
“When you have a party in different power in the United States Senate, those nominations have not moved forward. And that’s exactly what Leader McConnell did in 2016,” Mr. Short said.
In 2016, Mr. McConnell had blocked the nomination Judge Merrick Garland, who former President Barack Obama nominated for the Supreme Court in March 2016.
The Kentucky Republican has said the situation was different then because the White House and Senate were controlled by different parties.