Joe Biden is calling on Senate Republicans to follow their conscience with the Supreme Court vacancy, saying that any nominee from Donald Trump be withdrawn if Biden wins the presidency in November.
As The Hill reported, the Democratic presidential candidate made an appeal directly to his Republican counterparts on Sunday, saying during a speech in Philadelphia that a handful of senators will be able to determine what happens with the seat left open by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday.
Like many other Democrats, Biden has spoken out against plans to move forward in submitting a nomination and holding hearings after Republican leaders said in 2016 that there should not be a vacancy filled during a presidential election year.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who vowed four years ago not to hold hearings for a nominee from Barack Obama, has changed course and called on Trump to nominate a potential replacement for Ginsburg.
“Don’t vote to confirm anyone nominated under the circumstances President Trump and Sen. McConnell have created,” Biden said during his remarks on Sunday. “Don’t go there. Hold your constitutional duty, your conscience. Let the people speak. Cool the flames that have been engulfing our country.”
Biden said they could proceed with hearings of a potential nomination if Trump were to win in November, but should bring the process to a halt if he wins.
“But if I win this election, President Trump’s nominee should be withdrawn,” he said. “As the new president, I should be the one who nominates Justice Ginsburg’s successor.”
He predicted that moving forward with the process after a loss for Trump could lead to a “constitutional crisis” that plunges the country into a chaotic situation.
“If we go down this path, I predict it will cause irreversible damage,” he said, adding that it is important for the U.S. to come together as a nation.
Some Republicans have already expressed hesitancy at moving the process forward after holding up Obama’s nomination in 2016. As The Inquisitr reported, Maine Sen. Susan Collins said this weekend that she would not support moving ahead with filling the vacant seat. Because Republicans hold a 53-47 advantage in the Senate, the party could withstand three defections and still be able to fill the empty seat.
That could be complicated by the upcoming race in Arizona, which is a special election where the winner would be seated in November rather than January.