Biden says 2020 winner should pick Ginsburg replacement, citing 2016

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Friday paid tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg while calling on the Senate to consider the will of the voters in the impending showdown over the late justice's replacement on the Supreme Court, citing 2016 as precedent.

"There is no doubt, let me be clear, that the voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said Friday evening. "This was the position of the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today."

The statement comes after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would put a nominee picked by President Donald Trump to a Senate vote.

McConnell in 2016 stonewalled the ultimately unsuccessful nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the court by President Barack Obama ahead of the presidential election. McConnell argued at the time that Senate Republicans would not consider a nomination made during an election year.

Biden argued there are fewer than 50 days to Election Day and the average confirmation of the Supreme Court justice is closer to 70 days — a consideration he urged senators to make.

Biden also commemorated Ginsburg's life and legacy, saying she was a "beloved figure" who "stood for all of us." He mentioned her work fighting for equal rights for women and his own time as a senator during her confirmation.

"She has been absolutely consistent and reliable and a voice for freedom and opportunity for everyone." Biden said. "She never failed."

The Supreme Court announced Ginsburg's death Friday evening. She was 87.