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Politics Biden and Trump clash over filling Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court seat at the first presidential debate

05:40  30 september  2020
05:40  30 september  2020 Source:   businessinsider.com

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a person in a suit and tie: U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in their first 2020 presidential campaign debate in Cleveland Brian Snyder/Reuters Images © Brian Snyder/Reuters Images U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in their first 2020 presidential campaign debate in Cleveland Brian Snyder/Reuters Images
  • Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden clashed with President Donald Trump during Tuesday's debate over the GOP's efforts to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court seat before the election.
  • Biden argued it's un-democratic to hold hearings and a vote on Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Trump's conservative nominee, while Americans are already voting in this year's election.
  • Trump claimed he had the right to nominate a justice at any point during his term, including between the election and the inauguration.
  • "We won the election and therefore we have the right to choose her," Trump said. "I'm not elected for three years, I'm elected for four years."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden clashed with President Donald Trump during Tuesday's debate over the GOP's efforts to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court seat before the election.

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Trump , Biden meet for the first of three presidential debates . Chris Wallace of Fox News moderates the debate from Cleveland, Ohio. The topics Wallace will discuss with the candidates are the Trump and Biden records, the Supreme Court , COVID-19, the economy, race and violence in US cities and

A sign marks a seat for first lady Melania Trump in the front rowCredit: AP:Associated Press. It is the first of three scheduled presidential debates . Vice President Mike Pence and California Sen. Kamala Harris, Biden 's running mate, will debate in October. Trump and Biden square off in first US

Biden argued it's un-democratic to hold hearings and a vote on Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Trump's conservative nominee, while Americans are already voting in this year's election.

"The American people have a right to have a say in who the Supreme Court nominee is and that say occurs when they vote for United States senators and when they vote for the president of the United States," Biden said. "They're not going to get that chance now because we're in the middle of an election already. The election has already started, tens of thousands of people have already voted."

Trump hit back, arguing he has the right to fill a vacancy at any point during his term. Democrats faced backlash when they questioned Barrett's religious beliefs during her 2017 appeals court confirmation hearings. Biden, who is a Catholic, rejected Trump's claim.

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"We won the election and therefore we have the right to choose her," Trump said. "I'm not elected for three years, I'm elected for four years."

He added later, "As far as the say is concerned, the people already had their say."

Republicans, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, refused to consider President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland nearly eight months before the 2016 presidential election. At the time, the Republican-majority Senate argued that it would be wrong to vote on a Supreme Court nominee in an election year. But the party reversed its position after Ginsburg's death on September 18.

No modern-day president has nominated and confirmed a Supreme Court justice this close to a presidential election.

Biden said that Barrett's nomination puts the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, at risk. The high court is scheduled to hear arguments in the Trump administration's lawsuit seeking to overturn the ACA a week after the general election on November 3.

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President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will square off in Cleveland in the first presidential debate of the election. The pandemic and protests against racism and police brutality rank high among the topics that will be addressed, along with the Supreme Court vacancy and the

President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden sparred over their respective plans for U.S. health care, interrupting and talking over Donald Trump and Joe Biden on stage during the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sept. 29. Photographer: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images.

When asked about ending the filibuster or expanding the Supreme Court, Biden declined to take a firm position but encouraged people make their opinions known at the ballot box. "The American people should speak," he said. "Vote now."

Barrett has publicly disagreed with Chief Justice John Roberts' 2012 opinion upholding the Affordable Care Act and its insurance mandate, arguing that the conservative justice "pushed" Obamacare "beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute" in a 2017 law review article.

Biden pointed out that overturning the ACA would strip tens of millions of Americans of health insurance and eliminate protections for those with preexisting conditions in the middle of a pandemic.

"If it's struck down, what happens? Women's rights are fundamentally changed," he said.

A strong majority of Americans support Obamacare and legalized abortion — two issues that will soon come before the Supreme Court.

Recent polling has revealed that the Republican effort to fill Ginsburg's seat before Election Day is unpopular. A solid majority of Americans — 56%, according to a New York Times/Siena poll released on Sunday — believe the winner of the presidential election should fill the Supreme Court vacancy. Just 41% said Trump should fill the seat before the election.

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First presidential debate . Head to head: Joe Biden and US President Donald Trump . Biden will also shoot back at the filling of the Supreme Court seat , saying that Trump 's plan is for the court to restrict abortion and reverse the Obamacare health program -- two areas that could worry

Joe Biden has urged Senate Republicans to block the confirmation of Supreme Court justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett for moral reasons. The Democratic presidential candidate made his comments a day after President Donald Trump nominated Barrett to fill the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg 's seat on

Notably, an even bigger majority of voters the GOP needs to win key Senate races and the presidency are opposed to Trump's efforts to push through the nominee. The Times/Siena poll showed that 63% of independents, 62% of women, and 60% of college-educated white voters think the winner of the election should pick the nominee.

During Trump's first presidential campaign, he listed the names of conservative jurists that he was considering for the Supreme Court, which broke with precedent from past nominees. In many ways, the list helped him galvanize support from conservatives who were wary of his personal behavior and lack of evangelical credentials but agreed with him on filling the federal bench with strict constructionists.

Since Trump has been in office, he has released the names of additional judges whom he would consider for Supreme Court vacancies. Earlier this month, before Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, he updated his list, adding some current federal judges and former government attorneys, as well as Ted Cruz of Texas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and Josh Hawley of Missouri, all of whom are senators.

Biden has refused to release any names of potential Supreme Court nominees, saying that such speculation could influence rulings from judges under consideration and also open them up to unfair criticism in the media.

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Here's what was true and what was false from the first debate .
As Trump and Biden attempted to make their points on the debate stage in Cleveland, NBC News fact-checked their claims in real time.NBC News fact-checked their statements in real time. For full coverage, visit the debate live blog.

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