Kentucky law professor discusses Ginsburg’s replacement process

The U.S. Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court((Source:
Published: Sep. 19, 2020 at 1:32 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -As memorials and tributes for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg continue around the country, lawmakers push to fill her vacant seat.

UK Law Professor Joshua A. Douglas said, under the Constitution, a confirmation could happen quickly.

“I suspect that if the president and Senator McConnell want to move very fast, they will do so,” he said.

He said traditionally, after the president makes his nomination, the vetting process will begin with Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. That committee would make its recommendation to the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell already said the nominee will receive a vote on the U.S. Senate floor.

Douglas said lawmakers were quick to discuss potential nominees following Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, too, but he said there are differences.

“We have a lot less time between now and Election Day as compared to 2016,” he said.

Douglas noted people are already voting.

"In many states, including Kentucky, where many ballots arrived to people’s mailboxes yesterday.”

He said there would be fallout if the decision was made before Nov. 3.

"This moment is so fraught with politics that ramming through a confirmation fight right now, I think would be really dangerous for American democracy.”

President Trump recently released his shortlist of potential nominees, including some Kentuckians, like Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

Douglas said currently, the court leans more conservative, but Chief Justice Roberts has sided with the more liberal justices recently.

“President Trump has already nominated and confirmed Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh, so a third reliably conservative vote would mean he’s appointed one third of the justices,” he said.

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