My take: Supreme Court vacancy

President Donald Trump nominated U.S. Court of Appeals judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the recent death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Democrats say a new Supreme Court justice should not be appointed until after the presidential election, pointing out Republicans declined to consider President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016. But Senate Republicans say they have the majority and will move ahead with the confirmation process. Quotes below taken from Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and Wispolitics.com reports.

Now or later?

Baldwin: “Voters across America should be allowed to cast their ballots first, before a Supreme Court nomination and confirmation process moves forward.”

Johnson: “President Trump was elected for a term that runs into January. Republicans have control of the Senate until the end of this Congress. We should fulfill that constitutional duty.”

Comparison to 2016

Baldwin: “Majority Leader (Mitch) McConnell and the Senate majority put in place the standard that Supreme Court nominations would not move forward in an election year. That was the standard imposed on President Obama and the same standard should apply now to President Trump.”

Johnson: “We had divided government (in 2016). That’s a valid argument when you have divided government (saying) ‘Let’s let the American people decide.’ Right now, we don’t have divided government. That makes all the difference in the world.”

The election factor

Baldwin: “It’s not only an election year. We are weeks away from an election for president and control of the Senate, and people are voting right now. After the voters have spoken in the election, and the elected president and new Senate have taken office, we can then move forward on a Supreme Court nomination.”

Johnson: “It’s just the reality of the situation. The norm is, if you have a president of one party and Senate of the same party, (election year) vacancies are filled. And if you have a president of one party and Senate of the other party, the vacancies are not filled.”

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