tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN September 18, 2020 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
for those of you who are joining us at the top of the hour, justice bader ginsburg has died. she was the first woman appointed to justice. justice ginsburg died at home in washington surrounded by family, we were told from complications of pancreatic cancer. she was 87-years-old, despite her long battle and several different forms of cancer and all complications, she seemed to be indestructiblindestructible.
in the coming hour we'll look at who knew her best and whether the president will try to fill her position with the election fast approaching. joining us right now is our cnn analyst lori berger and also on the phone is jeff toobin and our dr. sanjay gupta. talk about justice ginsburg. testi jeff toobin, can you hear me? let's check in with sanjay gupta. pancreatic cancer is an extremely difficult form.
she has been through so much, there were so many people pulling for her hoping she would go on for years. >> yeah, she dealt with a lot. you go back to 1999, 20 years ago, she was dealing with colon cancer and she was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer back in 2009. 11 years ago. that time i think maybe she had been able to really get through that and now she was sort of disease-free. in january of this year, she made an announcement that she was cancer-free and two years before this she had lung cancer and may of this year you may remember when she had this reoccurrence and then again in july and at that point she made
it clear that she did have this recurrence and she tried therapy and medication and did not have a response to it. at that point she had a procedure basically to open up some of the ducts that sometimes become affected by this sort of cancer and put on a therapy that you know had doctors sort of said was not curative. this was not going to be a cancer that's curative at that point. she was amazing. she got through that therapy and got out of the hospital and out and about again. she said she would resume her duties. it is a tough therapy and a lot to go through anybody, and especially someone in her mid to late 80s but she was doing okay. at that point going back to july, that was clear that this cancer was not going to be something effectively treated. just did not know how quicklyitl
would spread. >> douglas is also joining us. your thoughts on her passing. >> well, it is an incredible loss for america. she's this women's activist, she was an extraordinary fighter for women's rights. when bill clinton selected her, nobody thought she would be picked in 1993. they were looking when byron white was going to retire and the thought would be briar. nobody thought about ginsburg but hillary clinton knew all about ginsburg and she told her husband to really look at her. it was a funny story, bill clinton did not want the press seeing it so she told ginsburg
to the white house on sunday and wearing regular close. there was bill clinton watching football and all dressed in a suit and tie and she was in lounge clothes and she was embarrassed. it took bill clinton ten minutes to realize that hillary clinton was right that this was the winner. he went back for her. we have to remember when bill clinton picked ruth bader ginsburg, there were republicans in the white house of 12 prior years. this was a big thing. every year and month by month, she as supreme court justice grew into the legend we know and president clinton told me when she had her coming to the clinton library, she had so many people waiting 15,000, fans from arkansas that he had to move her to the sports arena because her popularity was so great.
when we look at bill clinton's great move as president, picking her was one of them. >> tonight there is a lot to focus on. the life she lived and her legacy and obviously the political ramifications of this moving forward just in the next several weeks and months. hillary clinton just tweeted, ruth bader ginsburg have paved the way. dana bash is joining us live. wonder what this means for the supreme court and capitol hill and a confirmation process and the election. >> if you think we have seen bitter partisanship and a divided and frankly angry congress, you ain't seen nothing yet. that it is because this is sort of the crown yule whjewel when s
to what a president can do and what a congress can do that lasts a lifetime and that's to fill a supreme court vacancy, especially a vacancy as important when it comes to the balance of the bench as ruth bader ginsburg. the fact that as marty was talking about earlier that it was four years ago that republicans who were also in charge of the senate refused to allow even a hearing for then president obama's nominee mayor garland because mitch mcconnell says the american people deserve a voice. you would think that there would be some consistency and that the same leader mcconnell would say okay, we are so close to election, that the american people deserve a voice. that's not how it is going to work. how most likely it is going to work, republican leadership are
going to try to do something in the short term or if not known as the lame duck session so after the election they're going to try to push this through. when i say this, a presidential nominee to replace her and rules radioi right now is this matters a lot. they need a simple majority and republicans will have that. there will be a lot of fighting. it was not an accident that is chuck schumer released or sent out a tweet saying something along the lines of the american people should have a voice in selecting their next supreme court justice. he clearly took the verbatim verbiage from mitch mcconnell four years ago and throw it back to his face. this is going to be a huge, huge
brawl. >> manu raju said earlier that it is unlikely republicans will be able to get a nominee passed by election day. there is this lame duck session after. >> that's exactly right. they could start the ball rolling and you better believe that mitch mcconnel despite the accusations, mitch mcconnell, now the majority leader, he's been singularly focused on filling the bench with conservative benches. it has been remarkable because so much news has been going on. we have not been able to pay attention as much as we could have. it is remarkable how many trump appointees are now on the bench. when it comes to the supreme court, that's the ultimate and that's the number one goal and
has been for his whole career for mitch mcconnell. he's going to be i impervious. they're trying to block mcconnell doing that. >> i want to bring in our jeff toobin. first of all, talk about ruth bader ginsburg and we'll talk about politics, next. >> well, ruth bader ginsburg is one of the very supreme court justices who would have been an epic figure in american history, not just american law. if she never served on the supreme court, that's how big her influence was as a lawyer.
she was as thurgood marshal was to the civil rights movement. she was the general council of the women and of the arguments that we now almost take for granted that the law has to treat men and women equally. when ginsburg started litigating cases mostly during the aclu, during the 1960s and '70s, the differences between how the law treated men and women seemed like they came out from another age and through a series of cases which she argued the law change and now it is almost impossible under the american constitution to draw distinctions between men and women. that's largely the work of ruth bader ginsburg. that contribution is just
gigantic in american law. now of course she was named first to the circuit court of appeals by jimmy carter and then to the supreme court in 1993 by bill clinton. she was a liberal justice in conservative times. she did not have the ability to write majority opinions like the conservative justices like john roberts, like samuel aledo. she became an textraordinary icn in decent. her loss to the court will be an enormous one to the country but particular to the liberal cause she believed in. >> there was a time between and kr correct me if i am wrong where she was the only woman justice,
senator o' conner had retired and justice sotomayer had not confirmed her name to the bench. >> that's exactly right. i think it was 2005 to 2009. she was the only woman. she really hated that. she was someone who believed in -- she did not want to bring up the ladder behind her. she was someone that wanted to p promote women. she had become very close on the supreme court to elena kagan. they have a close relationship. they were both legal academics before they became judges. she had a mentor relationship
with elena kagan. she's going to be in a trio of liberal justices now if donald trump can succeed in confirming someone which is not a foregone conclusion. i am sure we'll spend some time to talk about that. just because donald trump wants to fill this seat and mitch mcconnell wants to fill this seat, they still need to hold all their republicans, 50 of them so they can get vice president pence to fill a tie to break a tie, you know, it is not over. we are going to put a pin in that discussion. that's not the conclusion. >> jeff, when luyou look at her past, you talk about the career she had before but the life she had before the career she had before the supreme court is also just really extraordinary where
she came from and raised in f t flatbush in brooklyn. she had a sister died when she was a child and her mother died when she graduated high school and she twoewent to cornell and met her future husband at cornell and she ultimately had a child and after being married and had a child, she went to harvard law school. i want to play something of a documentary of rbg. this is justice ginsburg talking about her mom who passed away when she was 17. >> me mother died when i was 17. i wish i could have had her longer. >> well, her mother must have
been a very -- she had cancer for a long time and livered and trying to get her child to school. >> she had two lessons she repeated over and over. be a lady and be independent. be a lady meant allow yourself to be overcome of use lless emotions like anger and independent. it would be fine if you met prince charming and lived happily ever after but be able to fend for yourself. >> aaron, that loss that she lived through as a teenager in high school, the fact she was able to propel herself to
cornell and then after marriage and having a child to then go to harvard law school and with all the discrimination, she faced at harvard law school, she was one of like six or nine women. >> yes, she was one of nine women out of a class of 500. she was somebody who shaped by law very early on. she was someone who not only lost her mother but her sister and her husband struggled with cancer when they were in law school and she would stay up all night and she learned to get by with two hours of sleep. you can say cancer was this shadow that haunted her family and herself and the feedbaact t she wanted to fulfill the dreams her mother had for herself and her. her mother had a dream of education herself that was not
realized. she dreamed of a life in law and a life fighting for what was right and to have a profession in a practical sense. the kind of perseverance and tenacity she showed throughout her life and cancer, broken ribs and repeated hospitalizations and the loss of her husband and being the only woman on court and how jaggedly moving to the right when president bush was able to replace the moderates on the court. throughout all of this she really beat the odds but unfortunately she could not beat this odd. it was a life that was defined by the patience of her. >> i read a story that when she got to harvard law school, the dean brought nine women to
dinner who were students. it says something to the effect of -- what did he say? >> he asked all the women stand up how it was they can take a place of a man. justice ginsburg perhaps she was joking but what she said was not true. she was hoping to be a better wife to her husband. the real reason was she had a passion for the law, the reason why she was at harvard. it was one of the greatest of love, the law. she used the law to her instrument to expand writes. she was just somebody who wholeheartedly devoted herself to that task. she was not at law school to make conversations with her husband although they had
wonderful conversation. >> when she got to columbia, everybody was warned. she joined the review at two different institutions. she was not able to find a job for the longest time. she said there were three strikes against her, she was a woman, a mother and she was a jew. it was in fact having so many doors slammed in her face that led her to the cause of gender equality. she may have ended up at a law firm had she been given more chances. her own experience with discrimination as a mother, a woman, religious discrimination instead led her to think about how to broaden the opportunity for a greater range of people and instead led her to figure out how to use the constitution to make we the people more than just an ideal or a broken
promise. >> irin carmon, thank you so much. >> joans, can you talk about the role of ruth bader ginsburg. >> she was not that liberal. she had a moderate record on the d.c. circuit court of appeals. overtime she became the -- she became the senior liberal and was in charge of signing the decen decent. sometimes majority opinion but usually decent. she really found her voice then. she became the notorious r.b.g. after her 2013 decent in the case known as shelby county verses holder when the five
justices cut back on the 1965 voting rights act. with each year she dug harder and harder on the left and more critical of president donald trump, probably remembering in 2016 when she ended up speaking a bit out of school saying he's such a faker and such an ego. she ended up retracking those statements she said to me in an interview. she remained pretty harsh against him and during the recent trump's document cases at the supreme court, she noted that he still had not turned over his tax returns. she only became more out spoken and moved more to the left assort of a personal transmission. >> she did not want to have president trump to fill the
vacancy that she would leave, is that correct? >> that's certainly the presumption. she was holding on dear life. the last public statement she made following some treatment in july was that she was going to stay as long as she can as long as she can keep doing the job. she certainly went right up to the very end. anderson, she believed in being as visible as possible. i think that's why she kept telling people what was happening with her health as she learned new information. i noticed that you asked earlier of the time she was the only woman on the court from january 2006 when justice o' conner stepped down until august of 2009 when sonja sotomayer came on. there was a time where she was
suffering from cancer. that was during the period in 2009 when she was being treated for the pancreatic cancer and she got up off of her sick bed to show up at a joint session of congress right after barack obama had taken office. i remember asking her, why did you do that in how could you do that? she was being treated for serious cancer even back then. she said "i want to be visible, i wanted to show all people watching that joint session that the supreme court had at least one woman on it." that was something that she always use her voice to be more present, sort of spread the credits to other women, always helping others come up along with her. i would say between the transformation and efforts of
visibility that much different of other justices that's in that court and realm. this is a true national loss. >> house speaker nancy pelosi ordered flags half staff at the capitol. joan, in terms of what the court looks like without her and how the balance tips. >> that's an excellent question because now the liberals are really on the downside. they come out of a pretty good term of 2019/20 terms. they stopped a lot of reversals of law and managed to work are two justices on the right wing to expand protection for gay and transgender workers. they managed to preserve
abortion rights to this point and now with the possibility of president trump being able to nominate a third person to the court or nominate and get a third conservative appointee, this is a 6-3 court. no longer it will be what was for liberals hoping they can woo over jeff justice john roberts feeling a sense of the ballot. it could be potentially be in the hahnds of a brett kavanaugh depending on what happens. it is as much different court today than it has been at any other point. we since the '70s we talked about this conservative court, we are now tipped to a place f h
the right wing control as it never has before. >> jeff toobin, i know you want to say something. >> that's certainly true. when you look at the list of potential nominees that president trump put forward, this would be a deeply right wing court. and john roberts would be irrelevant because you will have brett kavanaugh and gorsuch and the new nominee so roberts would be irrelevant. we'll talk politics here. the democrats can pretend they are powerless in this situation or they can pick a fight for once. the idea that mitch mcconnell could engage in the greatest act
of hypocrisy in american history by stopping mayor garland when faced the vacancy in february of the election year and jamming someone through when there is a vacancy in september of election year, i don't think that's a fore gone conclusion. i recognize there are only 53 republican in ts republicans. the idea that this is a foregone conclusion that donald trump can jam somebody before election day or during the lame duck, i don't think it is necessarily the case. as the president likes to say, we'll see what happens but it is not a done deal. >> we have some sound of mitch mcconnell talking about vacancy. let's listen.
>> you say it is not a foregone conclusi conclusion, what are the options of democrats? >> well, there are several. first of all, there is political pressure on the republican party. it is not a complicated political issue to say, all you republicans said february was too late. why was february too late but september is okay? and there are republicans who are politically vulnerable on this issue. there are republicans running
for office right now. are they all going to just say to their voters, we are going to be the greatest rhypocrites in america's history? maybe yes or some will. it is not a guaranteed that all will. the senate is a body that works on the concept of unanimous consent. if they want to go proceed with anything, the democrats can force a vote on absolutely everything to delay this. now can they delay it until january 20th? i don't know. what will republicans do if joe biden wins the election? will they try to jam through a nominee including senators who lost the election? i don't know the answers to these questions. there are only two formal rules that the democrats have at their disposal. one is that after the senate judiciary conducts a hearing, they have a right to delay for
one week. the vote in the committee then in the senate itself, they have the right to insist on at least 30 hours of debate before they move to a vote. now, neither of those are enough to go until january 20th. but the senate procedures have a lot of flexibility in them. if democrats want to fight, they can fight. >> i want to go to jim acosta who's monitoring for reaction from the white house. jim, are you hearing anything? >> reporter: anderson, this white house is frozen right now in terms of a response of the passing of ruth bader ginsburg. president trump took the stage in minnesota just a few moments before ginsburg's passing was announced. talking to some white house officials, they are not certain that the president knows about this. they don't believe he knows about this yet and will be
briefed after he leaves the stage in minnesota. but, getting back to whether or not president trump would seek to fill the seat left by ruth bader ginsburg. i would tell you a couple of his advisers tell me so far is definitely yes. in a word of one adviser, trump will follow the constitution, period. we should point out back in august, he was doing a radio with hughes hewitt that absolutely they'll do it. the democrats tried to do back in 2016 which mitch mcconnell and republicans blocked them filling the seat with mayor garland. obviously there are huge implications on this whether or not the president seeks to replace ruth bader ginsburg. this gives him a powerful weapon
out on the trail. this kind of news is going to energize that base and chemothe la chemothe -- keep in mind he was putting out nominees, people like ted cruz. some of the people are already saying if they are put on the high courts, they'll strike down roe v. wade. this is animating issue for president trump heading into the final weeks of this campaign. we do expect the white house to put out some kind of statements tonight. i expect they'll lower the flag half staff. we may hear the president shortly after he gets off stage. he's been speaking for an hour now. once he gets off and briefed that he'll talk to reporters, if not on camera before getting on
air force one then on air force one in an off-camera. we'll get some kind of reaction from the white house in short order. >> there has been some headlines about the president putting out other names of potential supreme court nominees. >> that's right. >> reporter: he put out a number of senator names, ted cruz and tom cotton, tom cotton says he would seek to strike down roe v. wade and that it is time for it to go. a number of conservative movement standpoint are also on that list. and amy cohen barrett, her name was floated the last time around when the president nominated brett kavanaugh. we are told by sources that the president likes amy barrett and
potentially she's high on that list. that's all in theory. all of that discussion was in theory heading up to this event. we are seeing something that's truly unprecedented because it seems cliche. something extraordinary, the president would have the opportunity to fill three vacancies during his first term in office, obviously he would have a massive e if he cffect i alohhed th allowed that. >> we'll take a quick break and we'll talk more of the life and legacy of ruth bader ginsburg.
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woman's work is as important as a man. i became a lawyer in days when women were not wanted by most members of the legal action. i became a lawyer because marty support that choice. >> joining us is betsy west. thank you for being here. it is extraordinary that they met in cornell and got married right after and they had a child and then ruth bader ginsburg could very easily raise the child in those times. she chose to go to law school and transferred to columbia. >> absolutely. i mean her husband was in law school and actually she
initially said that she wanted them to be together in law school. she turned out to be an extraordinary student. she was on the law review both at harvard and columbia. she did have some discouragement in trying to get the kind of job she really was trained to do. and, she had a toddler at home and yet she kept ongoing. she faced discrimination against her as a woman, what did she do? she found a way to win equality for all women and not just herself. it was extraordinary achievement. >> the resilience that she showed, the struggle she had with cancer, it has gone on for so long. >> oh my goodness. and the pain she has been in and yet continuing to work and keep
a schedule that i could not keep. the feedback thnumber of incide she would bounce back. this was a extraordinary determined woman and energetic and the one thing i want to say was that she loved her job. she loved the work and i think part of the determination was that. she felt she was making a contribution to society and she wanted to keep doing it. one time we saw her on a friday night late into the afternoon in her chambers and when she said good-bye to us, she said oh, back to the coal mine and there she was going back to her desk and keep working. >> i want to bring in our nina, your thought on the loss that the court has suffered in this
country. >> she was an historic figure. chief justice roberts said that today. he said in the court's statement, our nation has lost a colleague. we mourn but with confidence that future members will remember her. she was all of that. betsy west is right. she did love her job. she planned in fact to retire and be replaced by a nominee of the first woman president because she really thought that hillary clinton would be elected. she just soldiered on. she could have taught an nfl
defensive end how to play hurt. i have never seen anybody play hurt. broken ribs and chemo and shingles and you name it, this woman endured it and continued to do the most incredible work. one of the last things she said was she dictated a statement to her granddaughter that said, my wish that i will not be replaced until a new president is installed and by that she meant a new president post election whomever that may be. she knew that was to come that her death will have profound consequences for r tthe court a the country. chief justice roberts no longer hold the controlling votes about daca or the census where he
casts deciding votes and voting in those cases with the liberal justices or himself writing the court's opinion. he won't have a fifth vote anymore. in all likelihood the court will be at larger heads and in a tie vote or republicans will be able to muzzle through a nomination from pickup to replace her which was clearly something she did not want. >> i know you have to get to work. i appreciate your time. back to betsy west. the documentary of r.b.g. what was she like to be around? >> very soft spoken and very intimidating the first time i met her pause she has that sort of quiet ora and yet she had a great since of humor.
she really did love to laugh. i did -- she had a characteristic modesty. a look back at the question that julie cohen and i asked her about how she wanted to be remembered and it is with this kind of modesty, she says just as someone who did everything she could. she would like it to be for her children and grandchildren. >> it is an extraordinary documentary. what an amazing experience it must have been to have that time with her. >> yes, it was. i get a sense of how she did keep ongoing, one of my favorite moments filming the documentary and it was an honor to be able
to tell her story was when we asked her with some trepidation of that work out. we were surprised and i have to say being in that gym and her and her trainer, brian johnson and seeing the focus and determination that she was putting into keeping herself in good shape, i mean she was a role model for older women and you know i thought afterwards yeah, she did let us film it. she was proud of it and why not? >> betsy west, thank you so much. really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> we'll go to manu raju next. let's talk about the politics o of this. if you thought this election was intense so far. it just ratcheted up
significantly. >> no question about it. the question for the republicans right now is will they move on a nominee and from talking to our sources, getting someone to repla replace ruth bader ginsburg before november would be difficult. getting a nominee through a process is two to three months and confirmation hearings and all the likes, that takes couple months. there could be enough time to get it confirmed by the end of the year. that's significance. if the republicans lose control of the white house then there will be a change of power in january. there will be a lame duck session from congress that would occur after the election in january. whether republicans would be willing and move in a nominee in
that lame duck session. the questions we are hearing from republicans whether they'll have the votes to move forward with someone and if they have the vote and almost certainly they would move to confirm someone. mitch mcconnell have made it clear that he'll confirm any vacancy despite his position in 2016 when he sat on president obama's replacement for scalia and mayor garland, she says let the voters decide in 2016. he let it for more than a year until president trump's repl now says that's different because the democratic and the white house or the republican senate. so completely different situation so he's willing to move but he's willing to move if he has the vote. the question is will he lose fewer than four republican senators. there is a 53-47 senate right
now. li li susan collins of maine have said the same thing, she told them that she would not support a nominee in a lame duck session of congress if joe biden were to win the white house. so that means the republicans left to determine, they already left collins in a lame duck senator. to ensure that they could have 51 senators to, essentially, confirm a nominee. so, at the moment, anderson, it's really a question of counting the votes. will the conference be there? will there be enough support to move forward? because, if there is, almost certainly, mitch mcconnell will push ahead, and that will cause this momentous fight because, of course, this could swing the court for generations. and affect americans' lives for
a time to come. >> you're saying, though, it normally takes two to three months for an fbi background check and paperwork. you're telling me that if the republicans, if this white house really wanted it badly enough, that they couldn't fast track a confirmation process? >> they could -- >> in the 50-plus days that are left before the election? >> they certainly could. and that would be harder to do. and it would put a lot of republicans in a tough spot. and it's not without precedent to move someone that quickly. ruth bader ginsburg, herself, moved quickly through the confirmation process. of course, that was a much different time than we're in, right now. but that is, from what i am hearing, a less likely scenario. more likely, is to see if someone can be confirmed in a lame-duck session. but then, that adds all those complications that i just mentioned. and anderson, at the end of the day, it's are the votes there and that's what mitch mcconnell's going to have to determine. >> manu raju. thank you so much.
gloria borger, so much to talk about. your thoughts, right now? >> yeah. well, i can get into the byzantine politics and i will because there's some things i want to add to -- to what manu said and he described the situation perfectly. but let me just say that this is a supreme court justice that most people in this country feel that they know, one way or another. this is an iconic woman, who matters a lot to women. women, in my generation. women of a younger generation. a supreme court justice, who, her story, her success, and the way she achieved it and battles she fought for women mean a lot, in this country. so you have the fight, on one level, in the senate. and i'll talk about that. but you, also, have another -- you have another playing field, here. and, that is, women in this country. this will, one way or another, mobilize women. this is an important -- she was
an important person for women in this country. i mean, women stand, in awe, of her achievement. and she told, according to nina totenberg, who probably knows her better than any other journalist. you know, she said that she did not want to be replaced, until a new senate was installed. i think those words might matter, to some women, if this is trying to get shoved through the noounited states senate. and let me talk about that, for a moment, because mitch mcconnell will say this is different from merrick garland. and he is saying this is because there's a republican senate and a republican white house. and so, he can play his kind of byzantine, political games here. well, this is very different. maybe, i can't do it right now but i'll do it in a lame duck. okay. what if the congress changes hands in a lame duck? what if the democrats take control of the senate? and -- and what if there is a new -- if there is a new
president? i mean, these are -- these are things that the voters are going to have to look at and say what is fair? one other thing i want to point out to you, which my producer, anne caldwell, sent me, which is a great list of republicans on the judiciary committee, who are actually up for re-election, now. so you have the chairman, lindsey graham. you have john cornyn. you have ben sasse, thom tillis, joany ernst. these are going to be tough fights. what are these republicans going to do? they're going to fall in line behind mitch mcconnell? maybe. but we just don't know. >> we're going to take a short break. we're going to have a lot more on the life and the legacy of ruth bader ginsburg and what happens next. politics, also. we'll be right back.
my wife and daughter had been killed in an automobile crash, and lying in the bed were my two little boys. i couldn't have imagined what it would've been like if i didn't have insurance to cover them immediately and fully. forty years later, one of those little boys, my son beau, was diagnosed with terminal cancer, given months to live. i can't fathom what would have happened if the insurance companies had the power to say, "the last few months, you're on your own." the fact of the matter is health care is personal to me. obamacare is personal to me. when i see the president of the united states try to eliminate this health care in the middle of a public health crisis, that's personal to me too. we've got to build on what we did because every american deserves affordable health care. i'm joe biden and i approve this message.
congressional correspondent, manu raju. manu, mcconnell's made a statement, i understand. >> yeah, he has. and he makes very clear that the nominee to replace ruth bader ginsburg will receive a vote in the senate, this year. that emeameans a republican majy in the senate will no matter what happens in the election. he doesn't specify a timeframe. so the question is exactly when that would happen. what i am told from republican sources is it's more likely to happen after november 3rd than before november 3rd. this is a time period between november and january, lame-duck session of congress in which outgoing president, if the president loses, there will be opportunity to pass -- pass some legislative business. at that point, they my try to confirm a nominee. but mitch mcconnell doesn't specify, one way or the other. ultimately, the question for him is whether he has the votes.
it is a 53-47 republican majority, right now. he can't afford to lose more than three republican votes. if there -- if he loses four republican votes, then there will not be someone confirmed. and at the moment, there's several republicans who are concerned about moving forward before the election. that includes lisa murkowski of alaska. susan collins of maine. chuck grassley of iowa has even indicated some apprehension in the past about moving ahead before the election. and typically, timeframe for confirming a nominee takes between two to three months so it seems highly unlikely someone could get confirmed before november. now, after november, it's possible. but that calculus all gets really complicated if the republicans lose majority, if the president loses re-election to joe biden. and at that point, will republicans say, look, the voters spoke. the new majority needs to come in and confirm a nominee. that is, clearly, not the view