Tom Cotton says Senate will move forward on confirming Ginsburg successor 'without delay'

Supreme Court vacancy takes focus in 2020 race

Lt. Col. Allen West, Republican Party of Texas chairman on the political impact of Trump nominating a Supreme Court justice ahead of the election.

Sen. Tom Cotton said on "Fox News Sunday" that the Senate "will move forward without delay" in confirming a new Supreme Court justice to the seat of late justice women's rights pioneer Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"My condolences to Justice Ginsburg's family and my regard for her lifelong dedication to public service," Cotton said of the justice, who is regarded as one of the lions of the legal profession and was the face of the liberal bloc of the Supreme Court.

"The Senate will exercise our constitutional duty," Cotton said, saying the Senate would process the nomination and hold hearings. "We will move forward without delay."

FILE – In this May 5, 2020, file photo Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee nomination hearing for Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Cotton has risen to the ranks of potential 2024 Republican presidential contenders by making all the right enemies. Now, the Arkansas lawmaker is making more by lining up behind President Donald Trump’s law and order recipe for controlling civic unrest (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool, File)

Asked whether a vote would happen before the presidential election, Cotton noted that it was possible, but not guaranteed.

"There will be a vote, there have been some cases like Justice Ginsburg herself" when the confirmation process "took less than 44 days," Cotton said. "There have been other cases which it took longer, so it's too soon to say right now."

Cotton was recently added to Trump's list of potential Supreme Court nominees, but is unlikely to be picked, as Trump has said he will choose a woman to replace Ginsburg. Two of the women currently perceived to be frontrunners are Amy Coney Barrett, a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Barbara Lagoa, who sits on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Barrett, a former Notre Dame law professor and devout Catholic, gained cult-like popularity among religious leaning court-watchers after her contentious 2017 confirmation hearing for the 7th Circuit.

"The dogma lives loudly within you, and that's a concern," Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said at the time.

President Trump has said that he will nominate a person to fill Ginsburg's seat and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has sworn that nominee will get a Senate vote. Democrats, however, have said that the person elected president on Nov. 3 should make the selection. They've alluded that if they take the Senate and presidency they could bust the Senate legislative filibuster next year and pack the Supreme Court in retaliation if Republicans move ahead.

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