Can the Senate Fill RBG's Supreme Court Justice Seat Before the Election?

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish was not to have her seat filled until after the presidential election, according to NPR. But just hours after her passing, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following (rather unsurprising) statement: “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

Now, whoever fills RBG’s vacancy will have astronomical power in policies that could completely alter the future of this country—so to say there is a sense of urgency from both parties is an understatement. As voters look toward the election—which, may I remind you, is only weeks away on November 3—there’s one question on everyone’s minds: Could the Senate really force through a SCOTUS nominee? The short answer: Yes.

Ahead, we answer all the burning ?????? about what’s really going on and what might happen.

First things first: isn’t it hypocritical that McConnell wants to fill RBG’s seat when he wouldn’t hold Senate hearings to fill Antonin Scalia’s open seat in 2016, another election year?

Yes! It is hypocritical. Thank you for asking. In 2016, McConnell refused to hold Senate hearings for Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee. At the time, McConnell said, “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.” Sure, dude.

But hypocrisy doesn’t really matter, right?

Correct! McConnell doesn’t seem to care—and it turns out, neither do his GOP colleagues. A number of Republica Senators have thrown their support in favor of a vote before the presidential election, even though they don’t know the nominee just yet. Among these are:

On Tuesday, Mitt Romney also agreed. “If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, I intend to vote based on their qualifications.”

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