House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared on CBS This Morning Friday and encouraged Americans to vote early as a means of responding to the Republican Party’s efforts to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, The Hill reported.
“If the Republicans insist on going forward, then there has to be a price to pay,” she said.
Pelosi highlighted that the GOP pointed to the election year when arguing against replacing the late Antonin Scalia’s high court seat with Barack Obama’s 2016 nomination.
“This is totally, completely inappropriate, and counter to what they said when Justice [Antonin] Scalia passed. But it’s no use getting into their hypocrisy. What we have to make sure people know, they must vote and must vote early, so that the message — their voices, their vote — that that message comes clearly.”
She also claimed early voting could help pushback against Trump’s recent refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses in November.
In the wake of Scalia’s death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell implied a nomination before the electoral process would rob U.S. voters of their voice.
“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.”
In response to criticism, GOP lawmakers suggested the 2020 race is an exception to the unofficial rule against nominations during an election year because Trump and the Senate are controlled by the same party — unlike in 2016.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, who announced his support for Trump’s forthcoming nomination, notoriously said he would not support an appointment before voters head to the ballot box. The South Carolina lawmaker defended his decision by pointing to the Democratic Party’s treatment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault during his confirmation hearings.
According to The Hill, a slew of recent polls found the majority of Americans oppose filling Ginsburg’s seat before the election and would prefer the decision be handled by the next elected president. Conversely, The Inquisitr reported that a recent Marquette University poll found most of the U.S. population is supportive of confirmation hearings taking place this year.
During her appearance on CBS This Morning, Pelosi said the GOP’s push to gain a seat in the Supreme Court is linked to their plans to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. The 80-year-old politician also pointed to polling that showed Americans’ support for the legislation.