EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - After the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Republicans and Democrats are faced with the question: should a new justice be nominated, so close to a presidential election?
President Trump wants to nominate a justice as soon as Friday, whereas Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says America should decide on the president first, before that president decides the high court appointment.
Locally, officials from the Eau Claire Republican Party said they stand by President Trump's plan, arguing there's no precedent that a justice shouldn't be chosen so close to an election.
Local Republicans added President Barack Obama's 2016 appointment of a justice doesn't compare to the situation at hand.
"You had a president who was on his way out. He had served his two terms, constitutionally allowed by definition, and Barack Obama was not going to be the president following the election," said Brian Westrate, the treasurer for the Republican Party of Wisconsin. "President Trump has only served one term, and ideally from our end, he will serve another."
Whereas local Democrats said if Republicans believe President Trump should be allowed to nominate a justice before the election because they expect him to serve another term, then waiting until after November shouldn't be a problem.
"If that's the case, then once he's sworn in once again, he can nominate the Supreme Court justice," said Beverly Wickstrom, the Eau Claire County Democratic Party chair. "But I don't think that's a true difference, I think that's an explanation to try and get around a very real, ethical problem."
Wickstrom added if President Trump is allowed to nominate a justice prior to the election, of which his current shortlist consists of Republicans, that poses a problem if voters, come November, decide they do not want a conservative president and justice.