US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will vote on President Donald Trump’s choice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, despite this being an election year.
The Republican Senate leader issued a statement on Friday night, some 90 minutes after the Supreme Court announced the liberal justice’s death from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer.
When conservative Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, also an election year, Mr McConnell refused to act on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to fill the opening.
The seat remained vacant until after Mr Trump’s surprising presidential victory.
Mr Trump ultimately nominated Neil Gorsuch, who was confirmed to the court.
The 2020 election is 46 days away.
Mr McConnell had earlier said he would move to confirm a Trump nominee if there were a vacancy this year.
Meanwhile, Democratic House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Ms Ginsburg’s replacement should have a “commitment to equality, opportunity and justice for all”.