September 20, 2020

Feinstein: Supreme Court Nominations Must Have Level Playing Field

Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement on the need to wait until after the presidential inauguration to take action on a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

“The Senate should not consider a Supreme Court nomination until after the presidential inauguration. Those aren’t my words, they’re the words of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham.

“Simply put, we can’t have different sets of rules for presidents of different parties. That not only undermines Congress, it also undermines confidence in the objectivity of our entire judicial system.

  • “Senator McConnell, just hours after Justice Scalia’s death on Feb. 13, 2016, said the following: ‘The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.’
  • “Senator Graham on Oct. 8, 2018, said the following: ‘If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait till the next election.’

“We saw the McConnell Standard in action in 2016, when President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill Justice Scalia’s seat 237 days before the presidential election but was prevented from even holding a hearing.

“Yet on Friday, just 46 days before a presidential election, Senator McConnell said, ‘President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.’ That’s a dangerous double standard that can’t be allowed to stand.

“We must uphold the McConnell Standard set in 2016 and wait to consider a Supreme Court nominee until after the presidential inauguration. The rules for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in our country must be consistent, and I call on Senators McConnell and Graham to honor their word.”

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