Two key Republican senators on Sunday said they expect the Senate to move forward in considering a nominee to the Supreme Court after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said he wants a vote before the election.
“I believe the right thing to do is for the Senate to take up this nomination and to confirm the nominee before election day,” Cruz said Sunday morning on ABC’s “This Week.”
Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” said he expects Republicans to soon consider a nominee. President Trump has said he may name a replacement for Ginsburg this week.
Cotton did not say if a Senate vote would happen before Nov. 3.
“There will be a vote... It’s too soon to say right now (when),” Cotton said.
Meanwhile, former President Bill Clinton also said that he expects Senator Mitch McConnell and Trump to quickly bring forward a nominee.
But Clinton, who nominated Ginsburg to the high court, said she would have counseled them to wait.
“Ginsburg would just have wanted to see what happens in the election,” Clinton said on “This Week.”
Clinton’s comments were not mere speculation. NPR reported on Friday night that the justice told her granddaughter as a dying wish that she did not want to be replaced until “a new president is installed.”
As for McConnell and Trump, Clinton said, “Their position is do whatever you can to maximize your power.”
Describing Ginsburg, Clinton said, “At a time where people are so cynical, Ruth Ginsburg symbolizes what’s best about America, and she is on the level... She just seemed to be authentic and a person first.”
Cruz and Cotton both said that quick action by the Senate is merited because it is controlled by Republicans, as is the White House.
Cruz said voters elected Republicans because of opportunities such as this to put judges onto federal courts.
“The president was elected to do this and the Senate was elected to confirm this nomination,” Cruz said.
In 2016, Cotton had urged the Senate to wait until after that year’s election on considering Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court as a replacement for Antonin Scalia. Garland had been nominated by President Obama. The Senate, under McConnell, never brought Garland to a vote, and the seat was instead filled by Neil Gorsuch, whom President Trump nominated after taking office.
Now, Cotton said, “we will move forward without delay in a deliberate fashion.”
Cotton pointed to the mid-term election in 2018 in justifying he support for the Senate considering a nominee.
The 2018 election “expanded our majority. We have a clear mandate to perform our constitutional duty.”
Host Chris Wallace asked Cotton if questions about abortion rights or Obamacare would influence his support for a nominee, but the senator would not be specific.
Cotton had been described as a potential nominee to the court himself. But Trump has said he would put forward a woman.
“Now is not the time to have me under consideration,” Cotton said.