Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Sunday, Sept. 20, called on Republican senators to avoid pushing through any Supreme Court nominee appointed by President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) before the November election.
“Don’t vote to confirm anyone nominated under the circumstances President Trump and Sen. McConnell have created,” Biden said in campaign remarks in Philadelphia. He was directing his plea to a handful of Republicans “who really will decide what happens” with a vacancy on the Supreme Court following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, The Hill reported.
“Don’t go there. Hold your constitutional duty, your conscience. Let the people speak. Cool the flames that have been engulfing our country,” Biden said.
The former vice president said that Republican lawmakers should respect Ginsburg’s dying wish that she “not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
“As a nation, we should heed her final call to us,” he said.
Biden advised Republicans to hold off on a Supreme Court nominee after McConnell committed to a vote on President Trump’s pick, expected to be announced this week. Democrats want the vacancy to be filled after the Nov. 3 election.
“To jam this nomination through the Senate is just an exercise in raw political power, and I don’t believe the people of this nation will stand for it,” Biden said.
Biden’s call comes as some senators, including Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) of and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), have supported the idea of waiting until after the election to confirm a new Supreme Court justice. Republicans have a 53-seat majority in the Senate.
“This appointment is about the future, and the people of this country are deciding their future right now,” Biden said.
The Democratic candidate repeated his Friday comments that any Supreme Court nomination from Trump should be withdrawn if Biden wins the election.
“If Donald Trump wins the election, then the Senate should move on his selection and weigh the nominee he chooses fairly,” he said. “But if I win this election, President Trump’s nominee should be withdrawn. As the new president, I should be the one who nominates Justice Ginsburg’s successor.”
President Trump on Saturday cited U.S. law to insist that he—as a president—has the duty to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.
“So, Article II of our Constitution says the president shall nominate justices of the Supreme Court,” he said in a campaign rally in North Carolina.