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Trump Says He Must Fill Justice Ginsburg's Seat Without Delay

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

A nation in mourning as a legal giant is commemorated. Thousands of people have laid flowers in front of the Supreme Court, remembering the life and work of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A funeral is planned for later this week, but the politics churn on. The battle over filling her seat, from when that will happen to who will get the nomination, will determine many things in American life - the fate of abortion access, the Affordable Care Act and other closely watched cases that will be decided in the near future by the Supreme Court. President Trump has made his intention plain. Here he is yesterday at a campaign rally in Fayetteville, N.C.

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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The president is supposed to fill the seat, right? And that's what we're going to do. We're going to fill the seat.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Democratic nominee Joe Biden says that the winner of the election to be held in just six weeks should make that call.

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JOE BIDEN: Let me be clear that the voters should pick the president, and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Republicans made that very same argument when they denied President Obama his constitutional right to appoint Merrick Garland. All indications, though, are that the nomination will happen sooner rather than later. Here is Republican Senator Ted Cruz warning that, if the outcome of this election is contested, the Supreme Court may be called to weigh in, as they did in 2000.

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TED CRUZ: And I think we risk a constitutional crisis if we do not have a nine-justice Supreme Court, particularly when there is such a risk in a contested litigation and a contested election. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.