A cleverly edited New York Times column had the GOP senators of 2016 make the case against the Republicans of today urging the immediate appointment of a new justice to the Supreme Court following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The piece, titled “Don’t Fill Ginsburg’s Seat. Signed, the Republican Senators of 2016,” was put together by opinion editor Stuart A. Thompson and includes statements from senators who, four years ago, decided to prevent President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, from being considered for Senate confirmation. At the time, they argued that allowing a vote on the nominee in an election year would break historic precedent and prevent Americans from having their say.
“For 80 years it has been the practice that the Senate has not confirmed any nomination made during an election year, and we shouldn’t make an exception now,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) argued in February 2016 following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia more than eight months before the election. Cruz is now calling on the Senate to push through Trump’s nominee before Nov. 3.
The article also features several similar comments from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), all of whom opposed appointing a new justice before the 2016 election.
Another Times article, titled “Fill Ginsburg’s Seat Now. Signed, the Democratic Senators of 2016,” mirrors the first, using quotes from Democrats who pushed to have Garland confirmed by the GOP-controlled Senate. Democrats are now rallying to stop Trump from filling the seat vacated by the liberal icon. The difference, however, is that Scalia died 269 days before the 2016 presidential election, while Ginsburg died 46 days before 2020 Election Day.
President Donald Trump has vowed to swiftly replace Ginsburg, despite her dying wish that she not be replaced until a new president is installed. Hours after Ginsburg’s death was announced, McConnell said Trump’s nominee would get a vote before the election. Trump is said to be considering several conservative women for the position and said he will announce his pick on Friday or Saturday.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misidentified the publication where the columns appeared. It was The New York Times.