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Analysis: As the nation mourns an icon, Democrats and Republicans fight over Supreme Court vacancy

September 19, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

U.S. flag is seen at half mast as people gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court following the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in Washington, U.S., September 19, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Less than 24 hours after the death of the 87-year-old justice, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump were already engaged in a fierce pressure campaign to hold the Republican conference together and push a nominee through the Senate.

Less than 24 hours after the death of the 87-year-old justice, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump were already engaged in a fierce pressure campaign to hold the Republican conference together and push a nominee through the Senate Judiciary Committee and full Senate process before the end of this year.

But Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who's facing the closest reelection of her career and whose vote to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 turned off many Democrats and moderates, said Saturday that the Senate should not vote on a nominee from Trump before the election, saying, "we must act fairly and consistently—no matter which political party is in power. "

As McConnell worked the phones this weekend, Trump made his own push to keep GOP senators in line with a tweet Saturday morning before he headed out for a campaign event in North Carolina: ". @GOP We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices," he tweeted.

Republicans currently hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, meaning that McConnell can only lose three GOP senators in order to confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee with a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence.

During a call with Senate Democrats on Saturday, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the party's chief priority in the short term is "to communicate the stakes of this Supreme Court fight to the American people," a source on the call told CNN's Manu Raju.

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