The upcoming November Presidential election, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, already has ushered in a fair amount of unpredictability.
The battle for Ginsberg’s seat began hours after news of her death broke. Shortly thereafter President Trump vowed to provide his nominee and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate would vote on it.
Much of the controversy stems from the treatment of President Obama’s SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016. McConnell refused to hold a vote on Garland and held the seat open for more than a year before President Trump’s nominee Neil Gorsuch could be confirmed by the Senate. At the time, many Republicans, including McConnell insisted no new justices should be voted on in an election year. This time, despite the vacancy coming a little more than a month before the election, McConnell says he will hold the vote.
Michael Every, global strategist at Rabobank, said in a note that the Supreme Court fight “makes the U.S. election even more important and heated than it already was— and harder to call.