Stephanopoulos Challenges Rubio: Would You Promise Not To Make SCOTUS Nominations In Your Final Year in Office?

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George Stephanopoulos challenges Sen. Marco Rubio for saying that the president should not appoint a new Supreme Court justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia.

"The court can function with eight justices," Rubio said. "In the last year, within the last few months of the president's term, we should not be appointing Supreme Court justices."

Stephanopoulos objects: "So if you're elected president, will you promise not to make an appointment in your final year?"

Rubio says no, he isn't saying the president can't appoint a new Supreme Court justice, just that he shouldn't: "I'm not saying the president can't make an appointment. I'm saying we're not going to move forward on it in the Senate."

STEPHANOPOULOS: He said earlier this morning that he would filibuster any choice that President Obama made.

Are you taking the same position?

RUBIO: Yes, but he won't have to because, uh, Mitch McConnell has already made it very clear that we're not going to move forward until there is an election. And I think that's the right decision. The court can function with eight justices. In the last year, within the last few months of the president's term, we should not be appointing Supreme Court justices.

Now, the president can go ahead and nominate whoever he wants, the Senate shouldn't move forward on it until after the election.

We're going to have an election...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But so if you're...

RUBIO: -- in November. One of the key -- go ahead.

I'm sorry.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So if you're elected president, will you promise not to make an appointment in your final year?

RUBIO: Yes, well, I'm not saying the president can't make an appointment. I'm saying we're not going to move forward on it in the Senate. And that has been the practice now...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're saying he should?

RUBIO: -- for over 80 years.

He -- well, he's done. I'm not -- he has the legal right to do it, but -- and -- and as president, I would recognize that precedent and the precedent that's been set over the last 80 years has been that in the last year of a president's term, and in a second term especially, there should not be Supreme Court nominees put into lifetime positions for a president that you're not going to be able to hold accountable at the ballot box. There's going to be an election in November. This is going to be an issue in the election. The voters are going to choose a new president.

And that new president, who I believe will be me, should then fill that vacancy for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

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