By Zach Hester, Reporter • email@example.com
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Alabama’s Senate candidates are speaking out after a vacancy on the Supreme Court (SCOTUS), due to the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has become a point of contention in Washington.
Incumbent U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Ala.) announced that he believed the appointment of a new justice should be made by “the next President of the United States, regardless of who that might be.”
On the opposite side of the issue, Republican Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville stated it was a requirement of the Constitution that President Donald J. Trump offer a nominee, and that the Senate should begin the confirmation process as quickly as possible.
“The next Supreme Court justice could open the door to finally overturning Roe v. Wade, protecting our gun rights, and firmly securing the religious freedoms guaranteed to us by the First Amendment,” said Tuberville in a statement. “They will determine if the court follows the Constitution as written or invents new law from the bench for generations to come.”
The controversy surrounding the vacancy comes from a precedent set in 2016 by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who refused to hold confirmation hearings in 2016 for Merrick Garland, who was nominated by Trump’s predecessor President Barack Obama, months before a national election.
“If there is an urgency for a Supreme Court nomination, doggone it there ought to be an urgency for relief for businesses and the American people,” said Jones in reference to the lack of movement on a second coronavirus relief bill.
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) also agrees that Trump should replace Ginsburg before the election.
“The circumstances that face the country and the current U.S. Senate are vastly different than those in 2016,” said Shelby. “The Senate has not filled a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year when there was a divided government in nearly 130 years. If Democrats had the same opportunity as we do today, they would move forward just like the current Senate majority plans to do in the days ahead.”
Ginsburg passed away last week at the age of 87 due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. She was first nominated to the Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
Trump has stated his nominee "will be a woman” with candidates like Amy Coney Barrett, Barbara Lagoa, Allison Jones Rushing, and Joan Larsen appearing as frontrunners. U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton are also reportedly under consideration. President Trump said on Monday that his SCOTUS pick was likely to come later this week.