Sep 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Cruz: Reversal on election-year SCOTUS picks is "not just simply your party, my party"

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) argued on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that Republicans should vote on President Trump's nominee to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court, calling it a "question of checks and balances."

The backdrop: Republicans stonewalled President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland following Justice Antonin Scalia's death in 2016, claiming that voters should decide in the election who is appointed to the court. Cruz said the circumstances are different now because Republicans control the Senate and the White House, whereas Democrats were in the minority when former President Obama nominated Garland.

The state of play: Cruz claimed that the Senate has confirmed most presidents' nominees during an election year when it was controlled by members of the same party as the president.

  • "There's a reason for that. It's not just simply your party, my party," Cruz said.
  • "The reason is it's a question of checks and balances, and in order for a Supreme Court nomination to go forward, you have to have the president and the Senate."

What he's saying: "In this instance, the American people voted. They elected Donald Trump. A big part of the reason they elected Donald Trump is because of the Scalia vacancy, and they wanted principled constitutionalists on the court."

  • "And a big part of the reason why we have a Republican majority elected in 2014, re-elected in 2016, grown even larger in 2018, a major issue in each of those elections is the American people voted and said we want constitutionalist judges. So the president was elected to do this and the Senate was elected to confirm this nomination."
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