WATCH: Hours After Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death, Ted Cruz Tells Hannity ‘This Nomination Is Why Donald Trump Was Elected’
Texas Senator Ted Cruz reacted to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death by going on Sean Hannity’s show to argue President Donald Trump should rush through a nominee, saying “this nomination is why Donald Trump was elected.”
A number of Republican senators were quick to say that Trump should select a nominee quickly, in contravention to Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish, but Cruz stood out for the way in which he pressed the issue.
While most of Cruz’s Senate colleagues were expressing condolences and paying tribute to RBG, Cruz’s first order of business was to promote his upcoming appearance on Hannity.
WATCH ?: About to join @seanhannity to give my reaction to the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) September 19, 2020
And with the news of her passing not two hours old, Sen. Cruz used that Hannity appearance to argue that Trump should nominate, and the Senate should confirm, a new Supreme Court justice before Election Day:
Well I think the court, we are one vote away from losing our fundamental constitutional liberties. And I believe that the president should come in next week, nominate a successor to the court, and I think it is critical that the Senate takes up and confirms that successor before Election Day.
There’s going to be enormous pressure from the media, there’s going to be enormous pressure from Democrats to delay filling this vacancy, but this election, this nomination is why Donald Trump was elected. This confirmation is why the voters voted for a Republican majority in the Senate, and I’ll tell you one reason in particular, Sean, why I think it is tremendously important that not only does the nomination happen next week, but that the confirmation happen before Election Day.
Because Democrats and Joe Biden have made clear they intend to challenge this election, they intend to fight the legitimacy of the election, as you know Hillary Clinton has told Joe Biden under no circumstances should you concede. You should challenge this election.
And we cannot have election day come and go with a 4-4 court. A 4-4 court that is equally divided cannot decide anything. And I think we risk a constitutional crisis if we do not have a nine justice supreme Court, particularly when there is such a risk of a contested litigation and a contested election. 20 years ago I was part of the legal team that litigated Bush versus core and went to the Supreme Court. 37 days the country did not know who the president was going to be, and if we had a 4-4 it could have dragged on for weeks and months, and so I think we have a responsibility, a responsibility to do our job. The president should nominate a principal to constitutionalist with a proven record and the senate is going to take a lot of work to get it done before election day but I think we should do our job and protect the country from the constitutional crisis that could result all the rise.
Five of the remaining Supreme Court justices were appointed by Republican presidents.
In 2016, Cruz made a slightly different argument about the Senate’s duty when President Barack Obama was presented with a vacancy following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. — and he even specifically addressed the prospect of a 4-4 tie:
It has been 80 years since a Supreme Court vacancy was nominated and confirmed in an election year. There is a long tradition that you don’t do this in an election year. And what this means, Chuck, is we ought to make the 2016 election a referendum on the Supreme Court. I cannot wait to stand on that debate stage with Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders and talk about what the Supreme Court will look like depending on who wins.
Look, the consequence of a four-four tie is that the judgment of the court of appeals is affirmed by an equally-divided vote. This has happened many times in history that there have been vacancies, sometimes on a closely-contentious case. They’ll hold it over for the next term, when the replacement justice arrives.
In an election year, we have a long tradition that a lame-duck president doesn’t get to jam a Supreme Court nominee through on the very end. L.B.J. tried that and the Supreme Court rejected it. And particularly when the court is five-four, is balanced, an Obama liberal nominee would dramatically shift the U.S. Supreme Court.
Watch the clip above via Fox News.
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