With less than two months before the election, Senate Republicans are on track to approve President Trump’s yet-to-be-announced Supreme Court nominee following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“We got the votes to confirm Justice Ginsburg’s replacement before the election,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC). “We are going to move forward in the committee. We’re going to report the nomination out of the committee to the floor of the United States Senate so we can vote before the election.”
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is hoping to convince “four brave senate Republicans to commit to rejecting any nominee until the next president is installed.”
So far, only two have agreed to postpone the vote until after the election: Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). However, with nearly all GOP Senators in agreement, the Dems’ only real hope is that something unfortunate will occur during the vetting process.
“It’s pretty obvious that if they (Democrats) want an outcome, they’ll just destroy anybody’s life to keep the seat open,” argues Graham. “They said they tried to destroy Brett Kavanaugh so they could fill the seat – they were dumb enough to say that. I’ve seen this movie before. It’s not going to work, it didn’t work with Kavanaugh.”
Some Democrats have even suggested adding more justices to the court – a controversial idea that will eliminate the Senate’s legislative filibuster and cause further division within the Democratic party.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden opposes the idea of expanding the high court and has urged Republicans to hold off on voting until after the November election.
“We need to de-escalate, not escalate,” said Biden. “That’s why I appeal to those few Senate Republicans, the handful who really will decide what happens. Please, follow your conscience. Don’t vote to confirm anyone nominated under the circumstances President Trump and Senator McConnell have created. Don’t go there.”
A major issue for Republicans is where the next Supreme Court Justice stands on Roe v. Wade. The favorite seems to be Amy Coney Barrett – a lawyer, jurist, and academic who was nominated to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals by President Trump in May 2017. Her judicial leanings have been compared to those of her former boss, Antonin Scalia.
Experts say it is possible to confirm a Supreme Court nominee in 40 days, though it has rarely been done. “It would be the new recent world record,” says Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO). “We’d have to do more than we’ve done in a long time to get one done that quickly, but it’s possible.”
Ginsburg, whose last known words were the wish that she “not be replaced until a new president is installed,” was confirmed in 42 days.
President Trump is expected to make a final decision by Saturday.