“President Trump’s nominee for this vacancy will receive a vote on the floor of the Senate,” McConnell said in remarks on the floor, later adding, “The Senate has more than sufficient time to process a nomination. History and precedent make that perfectly clear.”
McConnell’s remarks underscore the resolve of Senate Republicans to press forward with the confirmation of a nominee despite calls from Democrats to wait until after the presidential election and inauguration.
In another indication of that resolve, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, wrote in a letter to his Democratic counterparts, “It is important that we proceed expeditiously to process any nomination made by President Trump to fill this vacancy. I am certain if the shoe were on the other foot, you would do the same.”
Battle lines are in the process of being drawn in the Senate as the upper chamber braces for a contentious fight over confirming the next Supreme Court nominee while questions swirl over how quickly Republicans will be able to move with the election looming.
“For the sake of the integrity of our courts and legal system, I do not believe the U.S. Senate should vote on a U.S. Supreme Court nominee before the November 3rd election. For Mitch McConnell and my Republican colleagues to rush through this process after refusing to even meet with Judge Merrick Garland in 2016 is hypocrisy in its highest form,” Manchin said in a statement, referencing the nominee whom then-President Barack Obama put forward in 2016 after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Trump has yet to name a nominee but said on Monday that he plans to do so by the end of the week, saying it will likely happen either on Friday or Saturday.
Ginsburg’s body will lie in repose at the Supreme Court on Wednesday and Thursday so that members of the public can pay their respects, the court announced on Monday.
Ginsburg’s body will then lie in state in National Statuary Hall in the US Capitol on Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Monday. A private interment will be held next week at Arlington National Cemetery.
McConnell paid tribute to the late justice in his remarks on Monday, saying that “our nation is mourning the end of an exceptional American life.” He called Ginsburg a “brilliant generational legal mind who climbed past one obstacle after another to summit the very pinnacle of her profession.”
CNN’s Ariane de Vogue, Phil Mattingly, Lauren Fox and Manu Raju contributed to this report.