Sen. Smith weighs in on process for approving new Supreme Court justice

Says a vote should not happen before the midterms

Morning News
June 28, 2018 - 8:10 am

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Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith is among those Democrats who want to see the U.S. Supreme Court nomination process continue after the midterm elections.

She told Dave Lee on the WCCO Morning News Thursday that she's appealed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to stand behind his words in 2016 when President Obama appointee Merrick Garland was blocked for the next president to make the decision. Trump then nominated the high court's newest member Neil Gorsuch.

Smith says it's "so important" the next candidate be a "consensus voice."

"I asked the Leader, Mitch McConnell, the Republican Majority Leader, to follow the same standard he set in 2016 during a big election year," she said on WCCO. "Let's let the people decide who they want to be in the senate, providing advice and consent before we force some nomination through."

Former Minnesota state Supreme Court justice and current federal judge David Stras is on the list of 25 judges President Trump is considering. Smith says she "couldn't get comfortable supporting" the former Minnesota Supreme Court justice.

"I think you need people on the Supreme Court who can bring judgment and a strong set of values and are going to interpret the law for the good of Minnesotans," she said.

President Trump says he plans to fill the vacancy as soon as possible.

Justice Anthony Kennedy was a frequent swing vote on controversial issues like abortion, LGBTQ and gun rights.