Ted Cruz on why Senate must confirm SCOTUS nominee before election: 'It's precedent'

“If you look at history, if you actually look at what the precedent is, this is what happened 29 times. 29 times there has been a vacancy in the presidential election year,” he says.

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Sen. Ted Cruz on Sunday made a case for why the Senate must confirm the Supreme Court nominee to fill the seat vacated by late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before election day.

“If you look at history," Cruz said during an interview on ABC's "This Week." "If you actually look at what the precedent is, this is what happened 29 times. 29 times there has been a vacancy in the presidential election year."

Cruz said that presidents have made nominations “all 29 times.”

“That's what presidents do. If there is a vacancy, they make a nomination," he said. "What has the Senate done? And there is a big difference in the Senate, with whether the Senate is of the same party as the president or a different party of the president. When the Senate is of the same party as the president, the vacancy occurs at the election year, of the 29 times, those were 19 of them -- of those 19, the Senate has confirmed those nominees 17 times."

“If the parties are the same, the Senate confirms the nominee," Cruz added. "When the parties are different, that has happened 10 times -- Merrick Garland was one of them. Of those 10, the Senate has confirmed the nominees only twice. There is a reason for that. It is not just simply your party [or] my party -- the reason is that it is a question of checks and balances."

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Cruz's comments came amid a national debate over whether President Trump should nominate someone to fill the empty seat next week and if the Senate should confirm that person before Election Day.

Much like when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died during an election year in 2018, Friday’s news was instantaneously followed by the question of when to fill the vacancy that now stands on the Court.

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Cruz said that in order for the Supreme Court nomination to go forward, it has to involve the President and the Senate. Cruz claimed that Trump was “elected to select Constitutional judges” and the Senate was elected to “confirm” the nomination.

“In this instance, the American people voted. They elected Donald Trump. A big part of the reason they elected Donald Trump is because of the Scalia vacancy and they want a principled Constitutionalist on the court and the big part of the reason why we have a Republican Majority elected in 2014, re-elected in 2016, and grown even larger in 2018, a major issue in each of those elections is the American people voted and said we want Constitutionalist judges,” Cruz said.

Cruz added: “The president was elected to do this and the Senate was elected to confirm this nomination.”