U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) weighed in over the weekend on the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the subsequent vacancy on the high court.
Brown stated, “Justice Ginsburg shattered glass ceilings for women who haven’t yet been born, and brought our country closer to living up to our founding ideals. Her intellect and passion and commitment to justice were simply unmatched. I pray that the same force of principles to which she held herself will help guide the leaders of this country.
“The American people deserve a voice in the momentous decision we now face and it was her dying wish, according to her family, that we wait for their choice to lead us to take office in January to confirm a new justice. We honor Justice Ginsburg best by fighting as hard as we can to preserve her legacy and ensure that women are in all places where decisions are being made.”
Portman stated, “I’m saddened to hear of the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was a brilliant lawyer and a pioneer in the legal profession as only the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court. She was respected by all who knew her and admired by so many as a trail blazer and a champion for equal rights. Her personal friendship and respect for colleagues across the ideological spectrum, including conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, serves as an example for all of us. Jane and I extend our condolences to her family and her colleagues on their loss.”
In a separate statement, Portman said, “In the more than two dozen vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court during a presidential election year in our nation’s history, the sitting president made a nomination in every single case. Leader McConnell has said that he will hold a vote on any nominee President Trump sends to the Senate, and I intend to fulfill my role as a U.S. Senator and judge that nominee based on his or her merits.
“The president was elected in 2016, in part, based on a commitment to nominate men and women to the judiciary who would fairly and impartially apply the law and protect the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, not advance public policy goals by legislating from the bench. Likewise, in both 2016 and 2018, the American people have re-elected a Republican Senate majority to help President Trump fulfill that commitment.
“In 2016, when the vacancy occurred following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, I said ‘the president has every right to nominate a Supreme Court justice … But the founders also gave the Senate the exclusive right to decide whether to move forward on that nominee.’ Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposing-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year.
“In contrast, when the presidency and the Senate are controlled by the same party, the precedent is for the president’s nominees to get confirmed. In the 19 occasions that a vacancy has occurred when the President and the Senate are of the same party, the Senate has confirmed the nominee and filled the seat in every instance but one. I look forward to seeing who President Trump plans to nominate and thoroughly assessing his or her qualifications for this important role.”