Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died this past weekend at the age of 87, leaving behind a legacy as a champion for women’s rights at the highest level of law in the country. Her absence leaves a large vacancy in the Supreme Court, one in which Donald Trump and Republicans intend to fill as quickly as possible. A new poll shows that a majority of Americans want the president and Senate to wait until the election and inauguration before appointing a new Supreme Court justice.
A new YouGov poll shows that 51 percent of U.S. voters want the country to wait to appoint a new Supreme Court justice until after the Jan. 21 inauguration of the next elected president. 42 percent are in favor of the president and Senate appointing a successor as quickly as possible, while just 7 percent are unsure.
Of course, the discrepancies between U.S. voters are highly partisan. While 84 percent of Democrat voters said the country should wait, an even greater 86 percent of Republicans said the president and Senate should move forward immediately. Independents were more split, with 49 percent saying to wait and 40 percent in favor of appointing a successor quickly.
Reportedly, the late Ginsburg’s last wishes were to have the country wait until the inauguration of the next president before appointing a new justice. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump, however, are in favor of pushing forward as quickly as possible. Democratic leaders have pointed out the hypocrisy of McConnell’s decisive action to push forward a Supreme Court justice successor just weeks before an election. With over eight months before the presidential election in 2016, McConnell and the Republican-controlled Senate stalled and subsequently blocked then-President Obama’s successor to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, setting a supposed precedent of waiting for the people to decide the next justice via the presidential election. With the appointment of the next justice squarely in the hands of the Senate and president, that precedent appears to have been swiftly abandoned by Republicans controlling both institutions.