WASHINGTON D.C (NBC) – Even before the Supreme Court announced plans to honor the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Trump laid out his timeline to fill her seat. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is laying the groundwork for a record-speed confirmation, and Democrats have limited options to derail it.
With plans to honor Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underway and mourners still paying their respects — already the fight to fill her seat on the Supreme Court — is front and center in the presidential campaign.
President Trump planning to announce his nominee at the end of the week — saying it will be a woman. The two top contenders: Federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a favorite among conservatives, and Barbara Lagoa, a Cuban-American federal judge from battleground Florida.
Once he makes his choice, President Trump is urging Senate Republicans to use their majority power.
“The bottom line is we won the election, we have an obligation to do what’s right and act as quickly as possible,” President Trump said.
And he wants a vote before the election — just 43 days away.
Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has already promised the Senate will vote on the person nominated by President Trump — drawing fierce criticism and allegations of hypocrisy.
McConnell blocked President Obama’s last supreme court nominee — when justice Antonin Scalia died more than eight months before the 2016 election — claiming then the voters should have their say first.
“There should be no action on any nominee until after the election. people are already voting,” said Senator Tim Kaine, D-Virginia.
Republican senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have already said they do not support moving ahead before the election. However, it would take two more GOP defections to block the nominee.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is urging his former senate colleagues to delay the vote.
With few options to stop the process, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says everything is on the table, not ruling out another impeachment — to hold up the Senate.
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