Biden's lawyers say he would have authority to issue national mask mandate, if elected

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Wednesday gave a speech on the coronavirus vaccine development in Wilmington, Delaware. Before laying out his own plans, Biden warned against leaving the distribution of a potential vaccine in the hands of the Trump administration. CBSN Political Reporter Caitlin Huey-Burns joins Lana Zak with the details of Biden's speech, including his comments on implementing a national mask mandate.
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Trump mourns death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg: ‘An amazing woman’
President Trump on Friday night praised the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as “an amazing woman” who “led an amazing life.” Trump commented on the death of the liberal icon after delivering a raucous rally in northern Minnesota, where he repeatedly invoked the Supreme Court as a reason to reelect him, unaware of...
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Trump says Ginsburg 'was an amazing woman who led an amazing life'
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Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death is a tragedy. The Supreme Court’s rules made it a political crisis.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg on January 21, 2018. | Robin Marchant/Getty Images How to lower the stakes on Supreme Court vacancies. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death is a tragedy. Ginsburg was a pioneer, a brilliant jurist, and a moral force. Losing anyone of her stature, and her talents, is gutting. But Ginsburg’s death is also a political crisis — one she saw coming. In a final statement, dictated to her granddaughter, Ginsburg said, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” Ginsburg’s death leaves the Senate in dangerous territory. McConnell has made his position clear. His stance on Garland was about power, not principle, and he has no intention of holding a vacancy open for Joe Biden to fill. “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” he said in a statement following Ginsburg’s death. Democrats remain livid over the Garland affair, and adding more justices to the Court — an idea known as “court-packing” — to balance out McConnell’s machinations has gained currency among key Democratic senators, and understandably so. Mitch McConnell set the precedent. No Supreme Court vacancies filled in an election year. If he violates it, when Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) September 19, 2020 It’s possible that a crisis here will be averted by a critical mass of Republicans refusing to vote on a replacement until after the election. Prior to Ginsburg’s death, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Susan Collins (R-ME) have said they’d follow the Garland rule and hold a vacancy open until after the election. Now we’ll see if they meant it. Whatever the outcome, the core problem here is the stakes of Supreme Court nominations: They’re too damn high. The Supreme Court isn’t merely an undemocratic branch of government but a randomly undemocratic branch of government. And that randomness, and the stakes of seeing it play out in your side’s favor, turn vacancies into crises. Supreme Court justices serve for life — which, given modern longevity and youthful nominees, can now mean 40 years of decisions — and no one knows when the next seat will open. President Jimmy Carter served four years and saw no open seats. President George H.W. Bush served four years and filled two. Barack Obama served two terms and confirmed two justices. Thanks to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s blockade of Merrick Garland, Donald Trump has already filled two vacancies, and Ginsburg’s death opens a third, raising the possibility that Trump will fill more vacancies in four years than Obama filled in eight. In practice, the Supreme Court decides how elections are funded, whether abortions are legal, whether millions of people will continue to have health insurance — if legislators and activist groups see its composition as a matter of life and death, that’s because it often is. This is why, in 2016, McConnell refused to consider any of President Obama’s nominees to fill the vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia: Keeping a conservative majority on the Court was, for Republicans, worth any amount of damage to the institution, and to American politics more broadly. These same incentives create extraordinary pressure for justices to stay on the bench long after they might have otherwise retired, in the hopes that they can outlast an ideologically unfriendly administration. They bias presidents toward nominating the youngest confirmable jurist they can find, rather than the best candidate they can find. And they turn an institution meant to be insulated from the political system into a threat to the political system, as almost any political cost is worth bearing if it leads to control of the Court. Rick Perry was right. We need 18-year Supreme Court terms. The Supreme Court should reflect the Constitution and the country, not the quirks of longevity. Holding justices to a single, nonrenewable term would lower the stakes of any individual Supreme Court nomination as well as make the timing of fights more predictable. An idea like this could have bipartisan support — then-Gov. Rick Perry proposed 18-year terms in the 2012 campaign, making an argument that I think sounds even more persuasive today: Doing this would move the court closer to the people by ensuring that every President would have the opportunity to replace two Justices per term, and that no court could stretch its ideology over multiple generations. Further, this reform would maintain judicial independence, but instill regularity to the nominations process, discourage Justices from choosing a retirement date based on politics, and will stop the ever-increasing tenure of Justices. Eighteen-year terms would also ensure the Court keeps closer touch to the country. Being a Supreme Court justice is a plum job, and it’s understandable that few want to give it up. But there are too many examples of justices serving after their faculties began to fail; Chief Justice William Rehnquist, for instance, missed 44 oral arguments in 2004 and 2005, after undergoing a tracheotomy to treat thyroid cancer. Nevertheless, he declined to step down and, shortly thereafter, died in office. Even in less extreme cases, serving as a Supreme Court justice is the kind of job that pulls you far out of normal human context. You’re one of the most powerful people in the country, surrounded by ritual and deference, traveling in only the most rarefied circles. In an institution like that, more new blood, more often, is probably a good thing. Implementing term limits for the Supreme Court would be a step toward repairing and normalizing a process that raises the stakes of vacancies beyond what our politics, or the human beings who serve on the Court, can comfortably bear. It would be one important way we could deescalate the stakes of American politics, and protect the system from total breakdown.
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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer, the Court announced. Dr. Sanjay Gupta goes over Ginsburg's history with the disease.
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The one thing Democrats can do to stop Trump from replacing Justice Ginsburg
Supreme Court Associate Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Samuel Alito listen to President Trump during the swearing-in ceremony of Brett Kavanaugh on October 8, 2018. | Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images Court-packing is the only solution. President Barack Obama had the opportunity — or should have — to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat in 2016 and give liberals a majority on the Supreme Court for the first time since the Nixon administration. But he didn’t get that opportunity. Instead, Republicans blocked him under a new stricture they invented, audaciously named the “Biden rule,” which decreed that no Supreme Court vacancy that arises in the final year of a president’s term may be filled. The Biden rule got its name from an exaggerated reading of a 1992 speech by then-Sen. Joe Biden, where the future Democratic presidential nominee argued that then-President George H.W. Bush “should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not — and not — name a nominee until after the November election is completed” if a vacancy arose on the Supreme Court. The question four years later: Are Republicans serious about their adopted rule? Will they risk Biden himself filling the seat left vacant by Ruth Bader Ginsburg if Trump loses in November? McConnell’s been clear: The answer is no. On Friday night, a few hours Ginsberg’s death, McConnell said Trump’s nominee would get a vote. Alex Wong/Getty Images Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters after the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon on September 9. Trump is still president for at least a few more months. Democrats are in the minority in the Senate (although the Democratic “minority” represents 15 million more people than the Republican “majority”). These two facts matter because the Constitution gives the president the power to nominate judges and the Senate the power to confirm those judges. Right now Republicans have a 53-47 vote majority in the Senate. That means that, unless Democrats can somehow convince four Republican senators to honor the so-called “Biden rule” — so far, only one Republican senator has agreed to do so — Ginsburg’s seat is being filled by Trump. But if Democrats win both the presidency and the Congress, they can ensure that the GOP supermajority on the Supreme Court will be short-lived. They could pack the Court. Court-packing and the constitution The Constitution provides that there must be a Supreme Court, but it does not set the number of justices — that number is set by Congress. The Judiciary Act of 1789 originally established a six-justice Court, and this number vacillated considerably during the nation’s first century. The number of justices briefly grew to 10 during the Lincoln administration, before finally settling at nine under President Ulysses S. Grant. If Democrats control the White House and the Congress, in other words, they can pass a law adding additional seats to the Supreme Court. If Biden is president, he could then quickly fill those seats (with the consent of the Senate) and give the Court a Democratic majority. It’s a risky play. At the height of his popularity, President Franklin Roosevelt proposed expanding the size of the Supreme Court to 15 in order to neutralize five reactionary justices who frequently undercut the New Deal. It did not end well for him. Many historians cite the court-packing plan as the event that shattered Roosevelt’s political coalition and left him unable to pass liberal bills through Congress. But these are very different times. In 1937, when Roosevelt proposed packing the Court, every one of the Court’s nine justices could claim that they got there fair and square. No one was on the Supreme Court because one political party invented a fake rule, applied it harshly to a president they loathed, and then immediately scrapped that rule when it was inconvenient. Trump’s two previous Supreme Court appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, also share a dubious distinction. They are the only members of the Supreme Court in history to be nominated by a president who lost the popular vote and confirmed by a bloc of senators who represent less than half of the country. If Trump fills the Ginsburg seat, fully one-third of the Court will be controlled by judges with no democratic legitimacy. Mario Tama/Getty Images President Trump greets Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch as Supreme Justice Brett Kavanaugh ahead of the State of the Union address on February 4. Democrats may also be able to use the threat of court-packing to convince four Republican senators to hold off on confirming a new justice. Even if Biden fills the Ginsburg seat, Republicans still control a majority of the Supreme Court. They have a lot to lose if Democrats successfully pack the Court. If Biden, congressional Democrats, and Democratic candidates for Congress all pledge that they will immediately pack the Court if they prevail in November, and if Republicans confirm a Ginsburg replacement, that threat might be enough to sway a few more Republican senators. No one should feel confident in this option. It is overwhelmingly likely that Republicans will confirm a loyal Republican judge to fill Ginsburg’s seat, and that they will do so swiftly. But Democrats still have one tool left in their chest. And if they don’t use it, well, Trumpism is likely to dominate the Supreme Court for decades or more. Help keep Vox free for all Millions turn to Vox each month to understand what’s happening in the news, from the coronavirus crisis to a racial reckoning to what is, quite possibly, the most consequential presidential election of our lifetimes. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. But our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources. Even when the economy and the news advertising market recovers, your support will be a critical part of sustaining our resource-intensive work. If you have already contributed, thank you. If you haven’t, please consider helping everyone make sense of an increasingly chaotic world: Contribute today from as little as $3.
Mitch McConnell says Senate will take up nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The Republican-controlled US Senate will vote on a potential successor to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg if President Trump nominates someone, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday night. “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” McConnell said in a statement responding to Ginbsurg’s death...
The fight to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat before 2020 election has begun
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death jolts the Supreme Court firmly to the right and sets the stage for a heated battle over her empty seat just 46 days before the presidential election. Within an hour of the Court announcing that the Justice had died, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had tweeted that President Trump’s nominee to...
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Some of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s most memorable quotes
A trailblazer for gender equality, whose defense of the rights of women and minorities made her an inspiration to many, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg imparted several words of wisdom before her death Friday at the age of 87. The fierce yet diminutive Brooklyn-born jurist was never afraid to speak her mind, whether on...
Mourners honor life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg outside US Supreme Court
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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died at the age of 87 from complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. According to a statement from the court, Ginsburg died surrounded by her family at her home in Washington, D.C. Norah O'Donnell anchors a CBS News Special Report from Washington with CBS News chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford.
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McConnell: Trump’s Supreme Court nominee ‘will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate’
Senate Republicans have signaled that they would likely fill a vacancy to the Supreme Court ahead of the presidential election, but it is unclear whether the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will change their stance.
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The world mourned the loss of pioneering feminist, outstanding legal scholar and historic Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Friday night. The Brooklyn-born Justice — only the second woman appointed to the bench — died Friday due to complications of metastatic pancreas cancer, the Supreme Court announced. “Our nation has lost a jurist of historic...
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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death on Friday prompted an outpouring of bipartisan support as politicians from both parties heaped praise on the legendary jurist.
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The 87-year-old dictated a statement to her granddaughter in recent days saying, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
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The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sent shock waves through the country Friday night, igniting debate about the future of the high court.
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Ginsburg's death sets up tense political fight over replacement
Ginsburg, who died at age 87 Friday after a battle with cancer, leaves behind an open seat on the Supreme Court where conservatives now easily outnumber the liberals.
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