Should the Senate Confirm a Supreme Court Nominee during a Presidential Election Year?

On September 18, 2020, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away leaving the Court with a vacancy before the start of the 2020-2021 Supreme Court session and election day on November 3. With President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announcing that they would start the process of nominating and confirming a new Supreme Court Justice as soon as possible, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and Senate Democrats argued that the winner of the 2020 election should choose the replacement. This lesson has students explore the Senate’s process of confirming Supreme Court nominees, analyze historical precedents and evaluate the various arguments relating to this issue. Students will use this information to deliberate the question:

Should the Senate Confirm a Supreme Court Nominee during a Presidential Election Year?