Then, Republicans held the Senate majority and had the power to refuse Mr. Obama’s nominee. Democrats are in the minority now, and are virtually powerless to block Mr. Trump and Senate Republicans from moving ahead to fill a vacancy in the court if they decide they want to do so. The question for Mr. McConnell and his fellow Republicans would be whether they could secure 50 votes to push through a nominee over what would undoubtedly be intense Democratic objections. Republicans, led by Mr. McConnell, have made their push to place more than 200 conservative judges on the federal bench a centerpiece of their agenda, and Mr. McConnell will no doubt want to put an exclamation point on that achievement. In an interview in Maine this month, Ms. Collins said she would be uneasy about seating another justice in October.
Source: New York Times September 19, 2020 02:35 UTC