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McConnell: Senate will vote on Trump court pick

FILE - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., attends a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 12, 2020. Photo: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky. FILE - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., attends a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 12, 2020.

Associated Press
Created: September 18, 2020 08:11 PM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will vote on President Donald Trump's pick to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, even though it's an election year.

The Republican Senate leader issued a statement Friday night, about an hour and a half after the Supreme Court announced the liberal justice's death from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer.

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

When conservative Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, also an election year, McConnell refused to act on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to fill the opening. The seat remained vacant until after Trump’s surprising presidential victory.

Trump ended up nominating Neil Gorsuch, who was confirmed to the court.

The 2020 election is 46 days away.

McConnell had earlier said he would move to confirm a Trump nominee if there were a vacancy this year.

McConnell's full statement Friday night is below:

"The Senate and the nation mourn the sudden passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life.Justice Ginsburg overcame one personal challenge and professional barrier after another. She climbed from a modest Brooklyn upbringing to a seat on our nation’s highest court and into the pages of American history. Justice Ginsburg was thoroughly dedicated to the legal profession and to her 27 years of service on the Supreme Court. Her intelligence and determination earned her respect and admiration throughout the legal world, and indeed throughout the entire nation, which now grieves alongside her family, friends, and colleagues.

"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. Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year.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.President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate."


(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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