Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden is urging that Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat not be filled until after voters choose the next president.
Ginsburg’s death at age 87 due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer was announced Friday night by the Supreme Court.
“Just so there is no doubt, let me be clear: The voters should pick a president and that president should pick the justices for the Senate to consider,” he told reporters later.
“This is the position that the United States Senate took in 2016,” Biden said.
“That’s the position the United States Senate should take today,” he said, in an apparent rebuke of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
McConnell had earlier vowed to take to the Senate floor for a vote whomever President Trump nominates to fill Ginsburg’s vacancy.
Biden was reading from a statement he later expanded on in a tweet.
“We are talking about the Constitution and the Supreme Court,” his statement read. “That institution should not be subject to politics.”
The former vice president said that the fastest any Supreme Court justice was ever approved was 47 days — and he noted that it was now 46 days before the presidential election.
Biden began his remarks by noting that as a senator 40 years ago, he had presided over Ginsburg’s confirmation hearings after she was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1980.
He praised her as “fierce and unflinching in her pursuit of the civil rights of everyone,” and said her decisions will shape the law for decades to come.