Supreme Court battle in 2020? Democrats, GOP still fighting over 2016

Supreme Court battle in 2020? Democrats, GOP still fighting over 2016

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WASHINGTON – A legal and political earthquake hit the nation’s capital precisely four years ago when Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia died on a hunting trip in Texas. President Barack Obama was poised to nominate his successor and give the court its first liberal majority in decades.

It didn’t happen, of course.

Within hours of Scalia’s death on Feb. 13, 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., vowed to keep the seat open until the presidential election in November. He made good on that pledge, and the vacancy remained for 14 months, until President Donald Trump filled it with Scalia acolyte Neil Gorsuch.

Fast forward to 2020.

If a vacancy were to occur this presidential election year – with the staying power of 86-year-old Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a four-time cancer survivor, a perpetual subject of speculation – Democrats and liberals will say it should remain open through the November election.

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