(KMSP) - President Donald Trump is expected to interview several candidates for the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy this week and to name his pick.
Minnesota’s two U.S. Senators have both weighed in on the process. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said a vote on that pick will happen before the midterms. Democrats, including Senator Tina Smith, said the vote should wait until after the elections.
Amid booths filled with fruits and vegetables in Minnesota’s capital, Smith took time to weigh in on one of the biggest issues in the nation’s capital.
“It’s important for me that the Supreme Court Justice, the next nominee is a consensus candidate,” Smith said. “The candidate who is able to get support across the aisle—that is the way Supreme Court justices used to be picked and I think we need to go back to that.”
Senate democrats said the vote should wait until next year, when a new Congress is sworn in. They said it’s only fair after Republicans refused to hold a vote on the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland before the 2016 election.
“The Republicans set the procedure, they set the schedule and they’ve done away with the filibuster for Supreme Court nominee, so we’re not going to win this because of the procedures,” Smith said. “We’re going to win this because of the issues that Americans care about.”
The Supreme Court vacancy was a big issue on Sunday morning talk shows. Justice Kennedy was seen as a swing vote on issues like gay rights, affirmative action and labor relations.
“Honestly, if the Democrats would have won the election, first of all, you would have had a lot different,” President Trump said during an interview on Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.” “If you look at the last four decisions in the Supreme Court at five-four, they would have all been reversed. The union decision was a massive decision.”
“This is a position that will have consequences for generations,” Senator Amy Klobuchar said on ABC’s This Week. “The court makes decisions in the last decades about who you can marry, where you can go to school.”
President Trump has said he will not ask the candidates about Roe vs. Wade, the case that legalized abortion nationwide. He plans to meet with five to seven candidates this week. The candidates are from a list of 25 conservative judges developed before the election. The list includes Judge David Stras, a former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice, who now sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals.