PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden made a pit stop in Philadelphia, asking that the nomination of a new Supreme Court Justice be made after November's election.
During his speech Sunday at the National Constitution Center, where just two nights earlier, the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was awarded the Liberty Medal, Biden focused on picking a successor to Ginsburg, who died Friday.
"Her dying words were, 'My most fervent wish is that I not be replaced until a new president is installed,'" he said, citing the statement Ginsburg reportedly dictated to her granddaughter before her death. Biden indicated that is why he isn't releasing a list of his potential nominees until after the election.
"As a nation we should heed her final call to us, not as a personal service to her, but as a service to the country, our country at a crossroads," he said.
Throughout his appeal, Biden mentioned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who refused to vote on former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, back in March of 2016.
"But he created a new rule, the McConnell rule," he explained. "Absolutely no hearing, no vote for a nominee in an election year, period, no caveats, and many Republican senators agreed with him."
The Democratic nominee quoted Lindsey Graham, current chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, when he asked the Senate to use the same discernment shown when they would not vote on former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, for nearly a year before the 2016 election.
"And a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said, 'Let's let the next president, whoever it might be, make the nomination,'" he recalled.
President Trump has also made the Supreme Court vacancy a top priority. He said Republicans have an obligation to fill the vacancy on the high court without delay. To that effect, he announced he will make a nomination this week, and it will be a woman.
Senate Republicans need 51 votes to confirm a new justice. They currently have 53 seats. McConnell said the Senate would take a vote on Trump's nominee when he names one.