Delaware Senator Chris Coons weighs in on GOP’s stance in the 2020 Supreme Court nomination process
DELAWARE — Less than a week after the death of late Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Delaware Senator Chris Coons is pointing to what he calls a complete 180 since 2016 in the GOP’s stance on appointing a supreme court justice.
The president has the constitutional authority to nominate a justice, regardless of how close to an election an opening occurs, but here’s where the senator says the issue lies. In 2016, following the GOP’s blockage of President Obama’s efforts to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham stated that if an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, the GOP will wait until the next election.
Now in 2020, the GOP has reversed course, saying they plan to appoint a replacement for Ginsburg before the election. In an interview, Coons says “It’s actions like that, that undermine the legitimacy of this process and contribute to Americans increasingly thinking that the Supreme Court is more partisan than principle. ”
Coons states that two Republican senators have already announced that they understand the standard they set in 2016, which was to have no Supreme Court vacancy filled during election. Senator Murkowski of Alaska said fair is fair. The Delaware Senator says if two more republicans are somehow persuaded to join those two, then they could slow this down, even prevent it, and honor Justice Ginsburg. But Coons reiterates that the decision is up to the Republicans.
Senator Coons says in the meantime, he’s working hard to persuade two of his Republican colleagues that they shouldn’t go along with a partisan speed, sped up nomination process.