A few hundred protesters gathered outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s, R-Ky. home on Saturday amid pushes to quickly fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, local news media outlets reported.
Demonstrators showed up outside of McConnell’s home at around noon, local news reported. Louisville Metro police officers arrived just before 1 p.m. and started to disperse the crowd as well as cars that were blocking the roadway in front of McConnell’s home.
Following an arrest in the parking lot of a nearby CVS Pharmacy, the protest officially ended at about 3:30 p.m., according to local news.
McConnell vowed to call a vote for Trump’s nominee, but Democrats countered that Republicans should follow the precedent that GOP legislators set in 2016 by refusing to consider a Supreme Court choice in the run-up to an election.
The impending clash over the vacant seat — when to fill it and with whom — scrambles the stretch run of a presidential race for a nation already reeling from the pandemic that has killed nearly 200,000 people, left millions unemployed and heightened partisan tensions and anger.
McConnell pledged to Trump in a phone call Friday night to bring the choice to a vote though he has not said if it would be before the election. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said any selection should come after Nov. 3. “Voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice to consider,” he said.
McConnell, who sets the calendar in the Senate and has made judicial appointments his priority, declared unequivocally in a statement that Trump’s nominee would receive a confirmation vote. In 2016, McConnell refused to consider President Barack Obama’s nominee months before the election, eventually preventing a vote on Judge Merrick Garland.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York convened a conference call with Democratic senators at midday Saturday, according to a person on the private call who was not authorized to discuss it publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. He told senators the “number one goal” must be to communicate the stakes of the confirmation vote.
Schumer also warned that if Republicans push through the nominee, “nothing is off the table” for Senate rules changes to come, the person said.
Ginsburg's death led to a wave of mourning, including an informal memorial at the Supreme Court. It also seemed certain to stoke enthusiasm in both political parties as the election could now be viewed as a referendum on the high court’s decisions, including the future of abortion rights.
Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said.
The Associated Press and Storyful contributed to this report.