Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spent a portion of her Friday evening explaining tactics she feels Democrats should use to retain the seat of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Clinton called in to MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” during the network’s coverage of Ginsburg’s death and expressed her opinion that Senate Democrats should use every possible procedural method to deny Republicans a shot at filling the seat before the November election.
During her conversation with Maddow, Clinton framed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republicans as being desperate to confirm another high court justice.
She also discussed “three possible approaches that should be considered” as Democrats attempt to prevent Senate Republicans from confirming a conservative successor to Ginsburg.
“I think there will be at least one or maybe more Republican senators who either from principles or conscious or political calculation, find the hypocrisy to be more than they can bear,” Clinton said.
“I hope that there will be several Republican senators who say we are going to wait to see what happens with the election. It will be up to whoever is president on Jan. 20.”
“The second thing,” she told Maddow, “is there are senators running for office right now who are in, who are Republicans and who are in closed or contested seats, and their Democratic opponents, as well as the people and the press in their state, needs to make this a major issue.”
“Are they going to totally demonstrate themselves as being without a shred of principle because they went along with McConnell in refusing to move forward President Obama’s nomination? Are they going to apply a totally double standard here?” Clinton asked.
“Make it a political issue,” she added.
Clinton’s other strategy was for Democrats to obstruct Republicans by using “every single possible procedural obstacle” available, and to “make it painful” for Republicans to confirm a justice prior to the election.
“There are things that can be done that need to be done literally 24/7. I am sure Chuck Schumer and his leadership team is already looking and talking at it,” she said.
Ginsburg died Friday at the age of 87, according to a statement from the Supreme Court.
“Our nation has lost a jurist of historic stature,” Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts said in the statement.
“We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her — a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”
ABC News reported President Donald Trump is expected to nominate a replacement for Ginsburg in the “coming days,” and Trump indicated Saturday on Twitter that he intends to put forward a nominee “without delay.”
McConnell has said that any person nominated by the president will receive a confirmation vote in the Senate.
“In the last midterm election before Justice [Antonin] Scalia’s death in 2016, Americans elected a Republican Senate majority because we pledged to check and balance the last days of a lame-duck president’s second term,” McConnell said. “We kept our promise. Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year.
“By contrast, Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary,” the Senate majority leader added. “Once again, we will keep our promise.”
The Senate and the nation mourn the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life.
My full statement: pic.twitter.com/NOwYLhDxIk
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) September 19, 2020
Ginsburg’s final wish, per a statement she dictated to her granddaughter Clara Spera, was that when she died, her seat would remain vacant until a new president is elected.
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” she told Spera, NPR reported.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.