U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio encouraged President Donald Trump on Monday to press forward with his nomination of a third Supreme Court justice – a decision that would shape the court for decades.
Trump and Republican leadership are moving fast to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The decision to do so before the 2020 Presidential election has outraged some Democrats, who are calling foul after Senate Republicans in 2018 rejected to hold a confirmation hearing for Merrick Garland because it was an election year.
Rubio in a statement justified President Barack Obama‘s denied nomination and Trump’s pending nomination as part of the Constitutional process.
“In 2016, President Obama exercised his Constitutional duty and nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, and the Senate exercised its Constitutional obligation and decided not to consent,” the Senator said. “Now, President Trump should exercise his duty to name a nominee. And the Senate should once again exercise its Constitutional obligation and decide whether or not to consent to his choice.”
Trump has vowed to replace Ginsburg with another woman. He’s also floated two Florida justices as potential additions to the Supreme Court. Barbara Lagoa and Carlos Muñiz, a former and a current member of the Florida Supreme Court, both were among a 20-name list the President introduced to media at the White House earlier this month.
Trump on Monday morning, however, stopped short of signaling excitement for now federal Judge Lagoa during an interview with Fox & Friends.
Regardless of the President’s pick, he and Republican leadership will need to ensure rank-and-file party members toe the line should a nomination come to fruition. Republicans only hold 53 of the Senate’s 100 seats. Thus far, two GOP senators — Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine – have spoken out against holding a vote before the election.
Rubio in his statement said he will consent to a nomination so long as the candidate satisfies his standard.
“I will review the record of President Trump’s nominee, and I will provide my consent if I find they are qualified and will respect the law as written,” Rubio continued.“If I conclude they do not meet this standard, as I did in 2016, I will withhold consent. And unlike President Obama in 2016, President Trump is on the ballot and can be rewarded or held accountable for his choice in November.”
Ginsburg died Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87 and revered as the court’s second female justice.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Monday that Ginsburg will lie in state in the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall on Friday.
She will be the first woman to receive the honor.