President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he would fill a Supreme Court vacancy should one arise this year.
“Absolutely, I’d do it,” Trump told radio host Hugh Hewitt. “I would move quickly. Why not? I mean, they would. The Democrats would if they were in this position.”
Speculation over the possibility of a vacancy resurfaced this month after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87, announced that her cancer had returned and she had undergone treatment. The Democrat-appointed justice was also hospitalized for what was described as a “minimally invasive nonsurgical procedure” to revise a bile duct stent.
“Justice Ginsburg was admitted to The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland early this morning for treatment of a possible infection,” the Supreme Court said in a statement. “She was initially evaluated at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. last night after experiencing fever and chills.”
“She underwent an endoscopic procedure at Johns Hopkins this afternoon to clean out a bile duct stent that was placed last August,” the statement added. “The Justice is resting comfortably and will stay in the hospital for a few days to receive intravenous antibiotic treatment.”
While Trump is firm, some Republicans are on the fence. But not Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Asked again in February, McConnell said, “If you’re asking me a hypothetical … we would fill it.”
But Republicans in the chamber refused to allow a nominee to move forward in 2016 after the death of the late conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) blocked Merrick Garland, whom President Obama nominated in March, saying it was too close to the election.
That’s why another Republican said recently she would oppose the move.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) says it would be a “double standard” for Republicans to push a replacement should a vacancy come up.
“When Republicans held off Merrick Garland it was because nine months prior to the election was too close, we needed to let people decide. And I agreed to do that. If we now say that months prior to the election is OK when nine months was not, that is a double standard and I don’t believe we should do it,” she said, according to The Hill. “So I would not support it.”