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Fox News personalities offered differing opinions and reactions to the death of Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Friday, with at least two of them surprisingly suggesting that it might be better for the country if her replacement was named after the election.
In a segment on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” in which the host noted that GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have previously said they would not support voting for a new justice this close to an election or even during the “lame duck” period should President Donald Trump lose, Brit Hume — Fox News’ senior political analyst — was asked to comment.
Hume began by noting that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the panel where the eventual nominee will be vetted before he or she is advanced to the full Senate for a vote, said in 2018 he wouldn’t support advancing a replacement even during the primaries.
He then said that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would support advancing a nominee even in an election year, under certain circumstances — such as if the Senate and the White House were both controlled by the same party, as they are now.
But, Hume warned, conditions in the country are extremely volatile at present, meaning that advancing a nominee now might trigger a cataclysm.
“Our American institutions right now and our political system are undergoing a stress test as difficult and intense as I’ve ever seen,” he said, noting that he doesn’t recall even the tumultuous 1960s being as “intense.”
“I think the leaders have to consider what the effect would be if we plunged into what would undoubtedly be a brutal and divisive confirmation battle,” he added, predicting nevertheless that President Trump will make a nomination.
Hume also said McConnell will also have to consider whether he’d have enough votes to seat a new Supreme Court nominee, and how the nomination process, if he moves forward, would play out in states where GOP incumbents up for reelection are in tight races.
“But I really think the threshold question is whether to put the country through this,” Hume continued, recalling the bruising battle to get Justice Brett Kavanaugh seated — and he was replacing retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, not “the leader of the liberal bloc,” Ginsburg.
Hume said the Kavanaugh debacle was the worst nomination process he’d seen during his decades in Washington. “I’d hate to imagine where such a battle” over naming a “judicial conservative” to replace Ginsburg “could go.”
“Right, we’re being held hostage,” Carlson remarked.
Meanwhile, Judge Jeanine Pirro called Ginsburg a “cult figure” to the Left, adding that she agreed with Hume in that Trump nominating someone to replace her would be incredibly divisive.
“The political game that will be played after this will be…something that will be so incredibly strong in terms of both sides going at each other that it’s not something that we necessarily need to see before the election,” she said.
Carlson countered by saying it appears conservatives are being intimidated into silence “by violent mobs of Biden voters.”
“At the back of everyone’s mind is, ‘Oh, maybe we shouldn’t try and exercise our system in the way it was intended to be exercised because Biden voters will get mad and start hurting people,” Carlson said. “That’s kind of a weird place to be, isn’t it?”
Pirro agreed, saying “it’s a horrible place to be,” adding that “people who are silent now” will be speaking by casting ballots over the next 45 days ahead of the election.
“I think if this becomes another issue, I think what we’ve gotta be able to do is make sure that…we have the ability to stand firm in our beliefs,” Pirro offered, admitting that “there are a lot of attempts to stamp on our freedom.”
“I think the strength of this country is people believing that they can go to the ballot box and they can be able to say what they what they may not be willing to say in public because of the backlash,” Pirro said.
That said, reactions on social media were swift and strong, with many users threatening violence if the president moves forward with a nominee.
**Warning: Strong language
If they even TRY to replace RBG we burn the entire fucking thing down.
— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) September 19, 2020
This is why we’ll elect Trump.
— magni +++ (@magnianon) September 19, 2020
Screenshot for after you delete this on account of it being psychotic. pic.twitter.com/5ca5dYpVqX
— Frank the Tank (@RealFrank215) September 19, 2020
Sure. Looting luxury items will send a real message.
— Cari Kelemen (@KelemenCari) September 19, 2020
— Silence and Frost (@secjr112) September 19, 2020
The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 18, 2020
— Bon Maxx (@bon_maxx) September 19, 2020
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