Politics The 6 Republican senators who will decide the Supreme Court fight

21:20  19 september  2020
21:20  19 september  2020 Source:   politico.com

McConnell vows quick vote on next justice; Biden says wait

  McConnell vows quick vote on next justice; Biden says wait WASHINGTON (AP) — The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg just six weeks before the election cast an immediate spotlight on the crucial high court vacancy, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly vowing to bring to a vote whoever President Donald Trump nominates. Democratic nominee Joe Biden vigorously disagreed, declaring that "voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice to consider.” require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); McConnell, who sets the calendar in the U.S.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on Friday kicked off what is sure to be the most consequential Supreme Court confirmation fight in decades — and throws a spotlight on a handful of senators.

Susan Collins wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Sen. Susan Collins. © Greg Nash/Pool via AP Sen. Susan Collins.

The universe of potential swing votes in the Senate is surprisingly small considering how high the stakes are. The following senators will be under enormous pressure — from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and President Donald Trump — to either fall in line, or break from their party in the most dramatic fashion.

Is 8 enough? Court vacancy could roil possible election case

  Is 8 enough? Court vacancy could roil possible election case WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death has left the Supreme Court shorthanded during a polarizing presidential campaign in which President Donald Trump has already suggested he may not accept the outcome and the court could be called on to step in and decide the fate of the nation. It's the second time in four years that a justice has died during an election year, though that eight-justice court was not asked to referee any election disputes in 2016. Today, both sides have armies of lawyers ready to take the outcome to court.

McConnell’s decision to hold a vote on Ginsburg's replacement forces him to balance his long-standing desire to cement a conservative legacy in the federal judiciary, while also retaining his power as majority leader.

That there are so few potentially in play lawmakers reflects the hyper-partisan nature of the political landscape in 2020. With less than 45 days left until the election, both sides have largely retreated to their respective sides.

In the coming days, these senators will be forced to answer several important questions. Would you vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee before the election? If a confirmation vote is held in the lame-duck period, would your decision hinge on whether the presidency and the Senate flip?

Fact check: Viral posts falsely claim Ruth Bader Ginsburg had already died

  Fact check: Viral posts falsely claim Ruth Bader Ginsburg had already died Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Sept. 18, but some viral posts falsely claim she died up to 2 years ago.Ruth Bader Ginsburg reflects on being 'notorious' in first appearance since cancer treatment

With 53 Republicans in the Senate, McConnell can only afford to lose three votes. Vice President Mike Pence could break a 50-50 tie if needed. Here’s who to watch for:

The true swing votes

During Trump’s impeachment trial, these GOP senators — Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah — were among those deciding whether the trial would feature testimony from witnesses, as Democrats had been pushing.

This time around, the “Three Amigos” are equally as important, and they each find themselves with a slew of different factors to consider.

Collins recently told The New York Times that she would not vote in favor of a Supreme Court justice in October — “I think that’s too close, I really do” — and would oppose seating a new justice in the lame-duck period if Joe Biden defeats Trump.

But in her statement offering condolences for Ginsburg’s loss on Friday night, Collins made no mention of her thinking on the issue. Collins was a key vote in confirming Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, and she faced a torrent of angry Democrats back in Maine for her decision to back Trump’s nominee. She’s already locked in a tight reelection battle with her Democratic challenger, Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, in what is shaping up to be one of the more expensive races this cycle.

Arizona Senate candidate Mark Kelly could take office early if he wins, putting him in place for a court vote

  Arizona Senate candidate Mark Kelly could take office early if he wins, putting him in place for a court vote If Democratic candidate Mark Kelly were to defeat Sen. Martha McSally, he could be sworn in before year's end – in time to vote on a court nominee.Antonin Scalia's son on his father's "odd couple" friendship with RBG

Collins has long championed her moderate credentials; she’s pro-choice, for example, and has also voted in favor of Supreme Court nominees chosen by presidents of both parties. But the stakes are perhaps the highest they have been for the future of abortion rights in the United States.

She’s also facing pressure from fellow Republicans. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), a hard-line conservative who himself is on Trump’s short-list for the Supreme Court, issued a direct plea to Republican senators like Collins, tweeting on Saturday: “Two months ago, I pledged to vote only for #SCOTUS nominees who understand and acknowledge that Roe was wrongly decided. I stand by that commitment, and I call on my fellow Republican senators to take the same stand.”

Murkowski, too, is pro-choice and a true centrist within the GOP conference. In an interview with Alaska Public Radio on Friday before Ginsburg’s death was announced, Murkowski declared that she “would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee.” But Murkowski, too, did not stake out a position immediately following Ginsburg’s passing, using her late-Friday statement to instead pay tribute to the late justice.

Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins oppose vote on Ruth Bader Ginsburg replacement before election

  Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins oppose vote on Ruth Bader Ginsburg replacement before election Murkowski joins Sen. Collins of Maine as the only two Senate Republicans to explicitly reject the idea of voting on a nominee before the election. Two more GOP senators would have to join them to give Democrats the 51 votes needed to block a potential nominee. On Saturday, Collins – a moderate from Maine who is locked in a tight battle for reelection – said "in order for the American people to have faith in their elected officials, we must act fairly and consistently – no matter which political party is in power.

And then there’s Romney. The 2012 GOP presidential nominee joined Collins as the only Republicans to vote in favor of calling witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial — and he was the only GOP senator to vote to convict the president.

His spokeswoman pushed back against a rumor Friday that the senator would oppose seating a new Supreme Court justice before the inauguration in January. Romney’s statement on Ginsburg’s passing did not hint at his thinking on the possible confirmation fight.

Cory Gardner

The Colorado Republican gets his own section because, as a moderate who faces an increasingly difficult reelection fight in a blue state, the upcoming skirmish could make or break him. He has been silent since the news of Ginsburg’s death on Friday, and has largely avoided reporters in the Capitol in recent months.

His fellow vulnerable Republicans — including Martha McSally of Arizona and Thom Tillis of North Carolina — have already said they plan to support McConnell’s efforts to put a Trump nominee on the Senate floor as soon as possible. For Gardner, the political calculation is much more difficult.

If he opposes Trump and McConnell, he will certainly lose support on the right. And he already has strong opposition from Democrats, who view him as a rubber-stamp for McConnell. So this will be a critical choice for Gardner.

Fact check: Ruth Bader Ginsburg had 'mixed' record on tribal law, Native American sovereignty

  Fact check: Ruth Bader Ginsburg had 'mixed' record on tribal law, Native American sovereignty A post on Instagram claims Ruth Bader Ginsburg was "anti-Indian." That claim is missing context.Near miss renews call for Houston storm barrier

The institutionalists

You’ve heard this word thrown around before, especially during the impeachment trial and other Trump-fueled controversies that have tested the Senate. But this time, there are two we’re keeping a close eye on: Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.).

Alexander, who has been serving in the Senate since 2003, and Roberts, who entered the upper chamber in 1997, are both retiring and have less than a few months left in office. They’re viewed as pragmatic institutionalists, and the timing of the Supreme Court vacancy means they won’t have to worry about a bombastic tweet from the president hurting their political future.

Both men offered tributes and condolences for Ginsburg’s loss, but have yet to comment on how they view the upcoming battle.

Democrats are likely to put immense pressure on them in the coming days, arguing that supporting McConnell’s efforts would be destructive to the Senate as an institution in the long-term.

Video: Supreme Court nominees if Biden wins: Who might be considered (FOX News)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg becomes first woman to lie in state: 8 other strides she made for women .
Did you know women couldn't open a bank account without a man before RBG? Ruth Bader Ginsburg changed these 8 things for women.Trump draws criticism for refusing to commit to peaceful transfer of power

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
usr: 1
This is interesting!