Senators Tina Smith (DFL-MN) and Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN) stated that President Trump shouldn’t pick the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) nominee. Instead, Smith and Klobuchar say that the newly-elected president should, and the Senate should wait to vote until then.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday from cancer complications. The SCOTUS vacancy is now the epicenter of political leaders’ attention.
However, Smith disagrees with voting on a SCOTUS pick so close to the presidential election.
“It’s an example of rank hypocrisy, and a blatant power grab. I think it’s essential that the Senate – that Mitch McConnell – not push through the nomination,” stated Smith. “This is a vitally important decision, and the American people are currently voting right now for the president of the United States. The American people should have a voice here.”
In the days following Ginsburg’s passing, Smith promised she would try and prevent another filling the SCOTUS seat. She tweeted she would “fight to stop McConnell from confirming a SCOTUS nominee before Inauguration Day,” along with a petition.
Smith is in a race of her own against former Republican congressman Jason Lewis.
Klobuchar, a member of the Committee on the Judiciary, also wants to wait until the newly-elected president puts forth a SCOTUS nominee.
In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Klobuchar was asked if Democrats could do anything to stop a confirmation. The senator would only say that it was on her Republican colleagues’ shoulders to decide.
“The voters are voting. And a number of them have already said that the next president, whoever wins should be able to pick the Justice. The people pick the President, the President picks the Justice. That was the McConnell rule and that is the precedent they set.”
Tapper repeated his question, and asked if Democratic senators would block the government funding bill to prevent the vote. Klobuchar would only say that she would rely on individual Republican consciences, and didn’t address the idea of blocking the bill.
Tapper brought up Klobuchar’s apparent contradictory statement on previous President Barack Obama’s 2016 nominee: Klobuchar urged the Senate to vote immediately. Klobuchar stated that her current stance is based on rules McConnell set after refusing to consider Obama’s nominee.
Klobuchar also dismissed new concerns over Ginsburg’s death possibly impacting the upcoming Supreme Court case reviewing the constitutionality of Obamacare.
Currently, the stances of Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) will decide whether or not a confirmation vote will occur before Election Day.
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