As Republicans in the Senate reversed their positions on seating a new Supreme Court Justice in an election year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded to assure that there are still methods to protect the integrity of the highest court in the nation, even though the House has no direct say in confirming a SCOTUS nomination.
In 2016, when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died, Mitch McConnell and other conservative legislators said it would be inappropriate to allow President Barack Obama to nominate the next member of the court, though there is no such consideration in law. Now, the same senators have reversed their position, with McConnell, in particular, promising that he will hold a vote in the Senate to confirm Donald Trump’s nominee — exactly as he refused to do in 2016.
Nancy Pelosi released a statement after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, saying that the next appointee to the court should be an honor to Ginsburg’s legacy.
We must honor Justice Ginsburg’s trailblazing career and safeguard her powerful legacy by ensuring that the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court upholds her commitment to equality, opportunity and justice for all.
Pelosi, however, has no direct say in the seating of the next Justice. Supreme Court Justices are nominated by the President, then confirmed by a vote in the Senate — the House doesn’t play a role in this process.
Still, she assured George Stephanopoulos on ABC‘s This Week that this doesn’t mean there are no options to protect the court.
Stephanopoulos: Some have mentioned the possibility if they try to push through a nominee in a lame-duck session that you and the House can move to impeach President Trump or Attorney General Barr as a way of stalling and preventing the Senate from acting on this nomination.
PELOSI: Well, we have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now, but the fact is we have a big challenge in our country. This president has threatened to not even accept the results of the election with statements that he and his henchmen have made.
So, right now, our main goal and I think Ruth Bader Ginsburg would want that to be, would be to protect the integrity of the election.
A few Republican senators have indicated that they won’t, or that they might not, be willing to vote on confirming a SCOTUS seat before the election, but they currently hold a majority in the Senate, and in the event of a tie vote, Vice President Mike Pence could cast a tiebreaker.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com