McConnell vows to fill Supreme Court justice vacancy

The Senate majority leader wasted no time in announcing a move to fill Ginsburg's seat was underway; Ginsburg's death is expected to shift the state of the presidential election.
3:53 | 09/19/20

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Transcript for McConnell vows to fill Supreme Court justice vacancy
With just 45 days until the presidential election, that battle Terry was referencing, the senate majority leader is promising to vote on a trump nominee to fill the supreme court vacancy. ABC's senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce is in D.C. With the political lines being drawn and the impact it could have on the presidential race. Good morning, Mary. Reporter: Eva, good morning. There is no question the death of justice Ginsburg is an election year game changer. This is a scenario the Democrats have been dreading filling this seat is a fight that Republicans are likely to wage with everything they've got so now in the midst of an already bitterly partisan election capitol hill is bracing for a monumental clash. Overnight president trump reacting to justice Ginsburg's death on the sidelines of his campaign rally, caught off guard as reporters told him the stunning news. I didn't know that. I just -- you're telling me now for the first time. She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman. Whether you agreed or not, she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life. I'm actually saddened to hear that. Reporter: With just 123 days until inauguration, sources tell us the president is expected to put forth a nominee to fill Ginsburg's seat in the coming days. Senate majority leader Mitch Mcconnell saying in a statement, president trump's nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States senate. Critics say it's a total reversal from Mcconnell's position in 2016 when he famously refused to even consider president Obama's pick, Merrick Garland, to fill justice Scalia's seat when he died in February of an election year. This vacancy should not be filled by this lame duck president. The American people are perfectly capable of having their say, their say, on this issue. So let's give them a voice. Reporter: Joe Biden overnight saying Republicans should stick to that argument and let the election determine what comes next. We should focus on the loss of the justice and her enduring legacy. Let me be clear, that the voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the senate to Reporter: But Mcconnell says this situation is different, stressing that unlike in 2016, Republicans now control both the senate and white house. Earlier this year discussing this possible situation, Mcconnell made his position crystal clear. If you're asking me a hypothetical about whether this Republican senate would confirm a member of the supreme court to a vacancy that created this year -- Before November. Yeah, we would fill it. Reporter: Democrats have blasted that argument as hypocritical but have very little power here. All eyes on senator who is may one, Lisa murkowski said yesterday before Ginsburg's death she would not vote to confirm a supreme court nominee. Republican senator Susan Collins of Maine has also hinted she might oppose reportedly saying recently she thinks it's too close to the election to try and fill this seat. And, Mary, we've learned the president already has a short list of possible nominees to fill Ginsberg's seat? Reporter: Sources tell us that the president does have a very short list and that federal appeals court judge Amy coney Barrett is seen as a leading contender. She is someone that the white house has explored in the past and a favorite of religious conservatives, a key sector of the president's base. For now though the white house says they are focused on honoring Ginsburg's legacy but made clear in the past he is likely to move very quickly to try to fill this vacancy, Dan? Thank you. Let's bring in someone who will

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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