Why filling a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year is so complicated
The Constitution established the Supreme Court in 1789, leaving justice confirmation procedure to Congress. Here's how it works—and how it has changed.
On September 19, the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg kicked off immediate speculation as to whether President Donald Trump would be able to replace her as his term draws to a close. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to bring Trump’s nominee to a vote—even though just four years prior he had blocked President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland on the grounds that it was an election year.
But much has changed since then in how Supreme Court justices are selected. So what happens next? It helps to first understand how Supreme Court vacancies are filled and how that has changed over the years—lengthening from just days to an average of two to