U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed, to the Democrats’ dismay, that he will push to hold a vote for a nominee to the Supreme Court from President Donald Trump after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
McConnell made the announcement in a statement that included a recognition of the accomplishments of the late Justice Ginsburg.
“The Senate and the nation mourn the sudden passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life,” said McConnell.
Ginsburg, a stalwart justice on the liberal side of the Supreme Court, died on Friday of pancreatic cancer.
“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,” continued McConnell.
He went on to explain the rationale for supporting a vote for a Trump nominee when he blocked a vote for Merrick Garland, the nominee of former President Barack Obama, in 2016.
“Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year,” McConnell explained.
“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 added.
“President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” he concluded.
McConnell’s statement was met with anger and disbelief by many Democrats.