Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat should not be filled until after the election.
“She practiced the highest American ideals as a justice .... Ruth Bader Ginsburg stood for all of us,” Biden said, speaking at the airport in New Castle, Delaware. The former vice president said he’d learned of Ginsburg’s death while flying back to Delaware from a Minnesota campaign trip.
Biden ― who, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, presided over Ginsburg’s confirmation hearing in 1993 ― lauded the justice as a “fierce and unflinching” civil rights advocate and a “voice for freedom and opportunity for everyone.”
She was “not only a giant in the legal profession but a beloved figure,” Biden said.
Ginsburg, whose death comes less than six weeks before Election Day, reportedly told her granddaughter just before she died that her “most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
President Donald Trump is expected to put forth a Supreme Court nominee to fill Ginsburg’s seat in the coming days, ABC News reported, citing multiple unnamed sources.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said Friday that “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor” of the Republican-majority Senate.
To block Trump’s nominee, all Democrats in the Senate and at least four Republicans will need to vote in dissent.
Biden said Friday that he hoped Ginsburg’s seat would not be filled until after the election.
“There is no doubt ― let me be clear ― that the voters should pick the president, and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider,” he said.
“This was the position that the Republican Senate took in 2016, when there were almost 10 months to go before the election,” Biden continued, referring to Republicans’ refusal to vote on Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. “That’s the position the United States Senate must take today ― and the election is only 46 days off.”