Sep 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

McConnell: Senate has "more than sufficient time" to process Supreme Court nomination

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a floor speech Monday that the chamber has "more than sufficient time" to confirm a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election, and accused Democrats of preparing "an even more appalling sequel" to the fight over Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Why it matters: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said "nothing is off the table next year" if Republicans push ahead with the confirmation vote before November, vowing alongside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to use "every procedural tool available to us to ensure that we buy ourselves the time necessary."

The state of play: As of now, two Republican senators — Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).— have said they oppose voting before the election. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), another moderate swing vote, plans to wait to issue a statement until after a Senate GOP lunch on Monday.

  • Two more Republican defections would force McConnell to hold a vote in the lame-duck session of Congress.
  • If Trump loses the election and Democrats take control of the Senate, there will be be enormous pressure on Republicans to defer to the incoming winners.

What they're saying: "The American people are about to witness an astonishing parade of misrepresentations about the past, misstatements about the present, and more threats against our institutions from the same people — the same people who have already been saying for months, well before this, already been saying for months they want to pack the court," McConnell said.

  • "We're already hearing incorrect claims that there is not sufficient time to examine and confirm a nominee. We can debunk this myth in about 30 seconds. As of today, there are 43 days until Nov. 3 and 104 days until the end of this Congress.
  • "The late iconic Justice John Paul Stevens was confirmed by the Senate 19 days after this body formally received his nominations. 19 days from start to finish. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, another iconic jurist, was confirmed 33 days after her nomination. For the late Justice Ginsburg herself, it was just 42 days."

Go deeper: Trump plans to announce nomination on Friday or Saturday

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