- Former Vice President Joe Biden remembered the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as "not only a giant in the legal profession but a beloved figure," in a Friday night tribute.
- The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate made clear, however, that the Republican-controlled Senate must not consider a new nominee for the court, following the same precedent that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set in blocking then-President Obama's nominee.
- "The voters should pick the president, and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," he said.
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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden demanded that the open seat on the Supreme Court created by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg must not be filled until a new presidential term begins.
"Tonight, and in the coming days, we should focus on the loss of the justice and her enduring legacy," Biden said in remarks reacting to the feminist icon's death at age 87 due to complications with cancer on Friday evening.
"But there is no doubt, let me be clear, that the voters should pick the president, and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," he added. "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when they were almost 10 months to go before the election," referring to when Sen. Mitch McConnell blocked then-President Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland from being considered.
"That's the position the United States Senate must take today," Biden emphasized. "They should do this with full consideration and that is my hope and expectation of what will happen."
There is no law that prevents President Donald Trump from putting forth a nominee for consideration by the Senate, which may then hold a confirmation vote and fill the vacancy before the 2020 general election. And McConnell has already indicated plans to do so, but he did not mention when.
"President Trump's nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate," he said on Friday.
Trump earlier this month released a shortlist of his picks for the nation's highest court, adding 20 potential nominees, including three conservative senators and several judges.
In his comments after her death, Biden called the justice "not only a giant in the legal profession but a beloved figure."
"She practiced the highest American ideals as a justice. Equality and justice under the law," he said. "Ruth Bader Ginsburg stood for all of us."