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Bill Clinton: ‘Superficially hypocritical’ for Trump and Republicans to push to fill Supreme Court vacancy

Bill Clinton: ‘Superficially hypocritical’ for Trump and Republicans to push to fill Supreme Court vacancy

By Devan Cole, CNN

Updated 11:07 AM ET, Sun September 20, 2020

Clinton: 'Superficially hypocritical' for Trump and GOP to fill Ginsburg's seat
Clinton: 'Superficially hypocritical' for Trump and GOP to fill Ginsburg's seat

Clinton: ‘Superficially hypocritical’ for Trump and GOP to fill Ginsburg’s seat 02:45

Washington (CNN)Former President Bill Clinton said Sunday it is “superficially hypocritical” for President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans to push to put a new justice on the Supreme Court before the November election.”Well, of course, it’s superficially hypocritical call, isn’t it? I mean, (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell wouldn’t give President (Barack) Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, a hearing 10 months before the presidential election. And that meant we went a long time with eight judges on the court,” Clinton told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.””This is what they do. I think that, you know, both for Sen. McConnell and President Trump, their first value is power and they’re trying to jam the courts with as many ideological judges as they can,” Clinton, a Democrat, added.President Clinton and Judge Ginsburg at White House Rose Garden announcement of her nomination to the US  Supreme Court on June 14, 1993. President Clinton and Judge Ginsburg at White House Rose Garden announcement of her nomination to the US Supreme Court on June 14, 1993.Trump and McConnell have said they want to quickly approve a new justice to fill the vacancy left by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at the age of 87. Many conservatives see the vacancy as an opportunity to fortify their majority on the nation’s highest court, as Republican and Democratic congressional leaders brace for a showdown over the timing and speed of the nomination process in Washington.Clinton appointed Ginsburg, a liberal icon, to the court in 1993.As the Senate braces for the fight over Ginsburg’s former seat, Democrats have blasted McConnell for blocking a vote on Garland in 2016 to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, even though then-President Barack Obama had nominated him in March of that year — months before the presidential election.REMEMBERING RUTH BADER GINSBURG

Clinton told Tapper that should Republicans succeed in filling the vacancy, their efforts will “further spread cynicism in our system.””To be fair, there is a case to be made for the argument McConnell made that in the middle of a presidential season, you should give the voters a say, that’s what he said when it was 10 months away,” Clinton said. “But when the shoe is on the other foot and he wants a judge, we’re fewer than 50 days away and that argument doesn’t cut any mustard. So … it’s going to further spread cynicism in our system and, you know, he said he wouldn’t do it.”Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, told Tapper in an interview later on the program that Trump has an “obligation” to fill the vacancy, and told reporters after the appearance that he doesn’t think it will take long for the White House to make an announcement regarding a nominee.

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