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Michigan U.S. Senators call for delay in vote on Ginsburg replacement

U.S. Supreme Court

Michigan’s two U.S. Senators are calling for a delay in the vote on a new U.S. Supreme Court Justice to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Pres. Donald Trump is urging the Republican-run Senate to consider "without delay" his upcoming nomination to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg just six weeks before the election.

The White House is moving quickly to select a nominee, likely before the first presidential debate 10 days away. Ginsburg spent her final years on the bench as the unquestioned leader of the court's liberal wing. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is vowing to call a vote for Trump's upcoming nominee.

Democrats say Republicans should follow the precedent that GOP legislators set in 2016 by refusing to consider a Supreme Court choice in the run-up to an election.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Michigan’s senior member of the Senate, says the vote should be delayed to honor Ginsburg’s legacy.

“This is a pivotal time for our country,” says Stabenow, “It’s critical that the people of Michigan and all Americans have the opportunity through this November’s election to make their wishes known concerning the future direction of our country.”

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters is locked in a tight re-election race with Republican John James. 

Peters also opposes selecting Ginsburg’s replacement as the nation votes for president.

“Acting on a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court with 45 days until Election Day would further divide the Senate and our country,” says Peters, “Voters should have their voices heard, and there should not be a Supreme Court nomination until the next presidential term begins.”

Republican senators face questions about their own past comments as they weigh what to do about the vacancy on the Supreme Court.

In the past, some key GOP senators backed not considering Supreme Court nominees in an election year. Maine Sen. Susan Collins on Saturday said the vacancy should be filled by the winner of the presidential election. It remains to be seen whether other GOP senators will join her.

Four years ago, the allure of conservative Supreme Court appointments helped persuade skeptical Republicans to support Donald Trump for president. Two years ago, a contentious clash over Trump's choice of Brett Kavanaugh for the court was credited with bolstering GOP gains in the Senate in an otherwise bad midterm election. And now, just 44 days before Trump's reelection will be decided, Republicans are again looking to a nomination fight to unite a deeply fractured party as it faces the very real possibility of losing the White House and control of the Senate this fall. GOP leaders are optimistic they can pull it off.

Supporters of Pres. Donald Trump chanted "Fill that seat!" during his first rally since the nation learned of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Appearing Saturday night in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Trump promised to fill that seat with a woman and to nominate her in the coming week.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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