UND Law School Dean weighs in on Supreme Court vacancy

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Officials stand on the Supreme Court steps on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, as preparations take place for a private ceremony and public viewing in remembrance of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, debate has begun over confirming her successor so close to an election.

President Donald Trump has said he expects to nominate a candidate by the end of this week. In 2016, Republican Senators held up President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland; but this time, the GOP holds both the Senate and the presidency.

University of North Dakota Law School Dean Michael McGinniss says in this situation, filling the seat would be consistent with precedent.

“When they are the same party, however, the precedents, which is what we have in this case — and Senator McConnell has pointed to those precedents — is that there is a historical track record of both nominating and then voting on that nominee,” McGinnis said.

Republican Senators expect to have the necessary votes to confirm a nominee, following Senator Mitt Romney’s comment earlier Tuesday that he supports moving forward with a nominee.

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