The Republican Party ‘contradicts itself’ in appointing judges
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The Republican Party ‘contradicts itself’ in appointing judges

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal who served as a judge on the US Supreme Court since 1993, died on September 18 at the age of 87 due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, during the US presidential election.

This is said to be an opportunity for President Donald Trump and the Republican Party to increase the conservatives’ majority advantage to 6 people in a court that has the power to decide many issues in the US, such as abortion, healthcare, and law.

Judge Ginsburg in Washington, DC in November 2018.

The US Supreme Court has 9 judges who are appointed for life, meaning they are only replaced upon death or proactive retirement.

According to law, the US president has the right to nominate a new candidate to replace the vacant judge seat on the Supreme Court for consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee within 60 days, after which the US Senate will vote to approve according to principles.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell immediately spoke up to confirm that the US Senate would vote on Trump’s nomination.

However, this is completely contrary to what McConnell himself said in February 2016, when the Republican-controlled Senate refused to hold a hearing or vote on candidate Merrick Garland, who was nominated

Justice Scalia, who was steadfast with conservative views and served on the Supreme Court since 1986 thanks to the nomination of President Ronald Reagan, passed away on February 13, 2016.

`The American people should have a voice in choosing their next Supreme Court justice. Therefore, vacant seats should not be filled until we have a new president,` McConnell said.

One reason they frequently cite for their efforts to block Obama’s nomination is the `Biden rule.`

McConnell is determined not to back down, even though Democrats hope he will compromise under political pressure.

`Presidents have the right to nominate, and the Senate has the right to approve or refuse to vote according to the constitution. In this case, the Senate will reject it,` said the leader of the Republican faction in the US Senate.

Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee also signed a letter that day to McConnell, saying they would refuse to hold hearings for anyone nominated to replace Scalia.

Despite the stubbornness of the Republican Party, Obama still nominated Merrick Garland, then chief judge of the Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, as a new judge on the Supreme Court on March 16, 2016.

`I hope they will be fair. That’s all,` Obama mentioned to the Republicans in the Senate when announcing Garland’s nomination at the White House.

The Republican Party 'contradicts itself' in appointing judges

Former President Barack Obama (left) announced the nomination of Merrick Garland (right) to be a US Supreme Court judge at the White House in March 2016.

However, contrary to Obama’s expectations, the Republicans refused to budge, asserting that their position had not changed and that Garland would not be confirmed.

`I think Garland is a good man, but his nomination does not change the current situation in any way,` Orrin Hatch, then-Utah state senator, opined.

For many months from summer to fall, the Republicans in the US Senate still acted as if there were no vacant seats on the Supreme Court and no one had been nominated to be a new judge.

The Republican-controlled Senate’s refusal to approve Obama’s judicial nomination has turned the Supreme Court into an important political issue in the race for the White House between Donald Trump and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

On May 19, 2016, Trump released a list of potential candidates to the Supreme Court, based on the calculations of conservative allies, to ease the concerns of Republican voters who are skeptical about his political views.

On January 31, 2017, less than two weeks after taking office, Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch, then a judge on the Federal Court of Appeals in Colorado, to fill a vacant position on the Supreme Court.

The US Senate, where the Republicans still maintained a majority advantage after the 2016 election, approved the White House boss’s nomination after less than three months, on April 7, 2017.

Many observers, criticizing McConnell’s inconsistent stance on this issue, believe that the Senate’s quick announcement to accept Trump’s nomination is a political move that does not serve the interests of the judiciary.

Even some Republican senators spoke out against this `slap in the mouth` move.

`For many weeks, I have affirmed that I will not support the replacement of judges when the upcoming election is so close. In 2016, I did not support the approval of a replacement for the late Justice Scalia 8 months before the election.

Besides Murkowski, another Republican senator, Susan Collins, also opposed the hasty approval of a new Supreme Court judge right before the presidential election.

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