MARTHA MACCALLUM (HOST): We're 46 days away from a presidential election. The last time we went through this process was in March of 2016. And, you know, an election was coming, Mitch McConnell said that it was too close to an election to fill that seat. President Obama put forward Merrick Garland and that was a hugely controversial moment.
You know, as we continue to respect this moment of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's passing tonight, and so much will still be said about her biography and her incredible life, your thought though on -- as you look a little bit forward in this situation tonight, Marc?
MARC THIESSEN: It's almost uncomfortable talking about it so soon, but it has to be discussed. You know, the reality is, yes, I would be shocked if Senate Republicans -- if Donald Trump didn't nominate somebody to replace her and if the Senate Republicans didn't confirm that person before the end of the -- before the end of this term and probably before the election.
I interviewed Sen. McConnell in 2018 about this and I asked him specifically if another Supreme Court justice vacancy came up during an election year, would you confirm them? And he said that absolutely yes. He said that if the -- the rule is, the McConnell rule, is that if the Senate is of a different party than the president and a vacancy occurs in a presidential election year, it doesn't get filled. That's what happened with Merrick Garland.
I guarantee you, Martha, that if President Obama had a Democratic Senate in that -- at that time, he would've confirmed Merrick Garland and Merrick Garland would be on the Supreme Court today.
President Trump has just recently put out a new list of candidates and because he's gone through this twice now, putting two people on, he's vetted a lot of people who came very close to getting picked. So it should not take them very long to put somebody forward.
And because the Democrats made the mistake back in 2014 of getting rid of judicial filibuster and then filibustered Neil Gorsuch, who was supremely qualified for the Supreme Court, out of anger over Merrick Garland, they created the situation where Republicans need -- only need a simple majority. So I would say the likelihood is that her replacement will be put forward by the president and confirmed by the Senate in pretty short order.