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Pelosi urges early voting to counter GOP’s high court gambit: ‘There has to be a price to pay’

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is offering advice to Americans put off by the Republicans’ effort to fill a Supreme Court vacancy just weeks before the elections: vote early.

“If the Republicans insist on going forward, then there has to be a price to pay,” she said Friday in an interview with “CBS This Morning.”

A host of recent polls show that most Americans oppose the Republicans’ rush to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg so close to the elections, preferring that the Senate wait to see the outcome of the presidential race.

Buoyed by those surveys, Pelosi and her Democratic allies are promoting voter mobilization as the single best way for frustrated Americans to respond.

“This is totally, completely inappropriate, and counter to what they said when Justice [Antonin] Scalia passed,” she said. “But it’s no use getting into their hypocrisy. What we have to make sure people know, they must vote and must vote early, so that the message — their voices, their vote — that that message comes clearly.”

Following Ginsburg’s death last week, Senate GOP leaders are charging ahead with their plan to seat her replacement before the Nov. 3 elections. President Trump is expected to announce his nominee on Saturday.

The effort marks a sharp reversal from the Republicans’ position in 2016, when Scalia died roughly nine months before the presidential election and GOP senators refused to consider the nominee forwarded by then-President Obama.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said at the time that future voters should get to decide who fills the vacancy.

“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” he said at the time.

Republicans have defended their new position, arguing that the dynamics are different this year because, unlike 2016, the president and Senate are now controlled by the same party.

“No one should be surprised that a Republican Senate majority would vote on a Republican president’s Supreme Court nomination, even during a presidential election year,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).

Democrats are unconvinced, accusing GOP leaders of conducting a shameless power grab that flouts their posture of four years ago.

“Democrats have done hypocritical things in the past,” said Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), “but at least we have the common decency to be embarrassed about it.”

Pelosi on Friday said the GOP’s urgency is rooted in the singular purpose of repealing ObamaCare — a campaign promise they’ve failed to accomplish legislatively. The Supreme Court is poised to hear opening arguments on Nov. 10 in a state-based challenge to the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

“All of the polling shows that people do not want the Affordable Care Act overturned,” she said.

Pelosi also touted voting as a remedy for countering Trump’s suggestion that there may not be a peaceful transition if he were to lose the election to Democratic nominee Joe Biden in November — a possibility Pelosi did not rule out.

“I’m hoping for the best; I’m prepared for the worst,” Pelosi said. “The best antidote to their poison is to vote … to have your friends and neighbors vote, whoever you vote for — but have it be a big, clear vote.”

Tags Bobby Scott Donald Trump Joe Biden Lamar Alexander Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi presidential election Ruth Bader Ginsburg Supreme Court

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Regular the hill posts

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)
In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

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