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Sen. Cruz on ‘This Week’: ‘We Need a Full Court on Election Day’

Discusses life and legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the urgent need to fill her seat with George Stephanopoulos

HOUSTON, Texas - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today appeared on ABC's ‘This Week' with George Stephanopoulos to discuss the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her remarkable legacy as an historic justice of the Supreme Court. Sen. Cruz also discussed the pressing need for the president to quickly nominate her successor this week and for the Senate to swiftly confirm that successor before Election Day. Catch Sen. Cruz's full interview with George Stephanopoulos here. Excerpts are below.

WATCH: Cruz on ABC's ‘This Week': We Need a Full Court on Election Day

On the life and legendary career of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sen. Cruz said:

"I want to start by just acknowledging the extraordinary career Justice Ginsburg had. She was a trailblazing advocate- one of the finest Supreme Court litigators to have ever lived. She said she served for nearly three decades on the Court. I argued nine times before Justice Ginsburg on the Court. She was a brilliant justice. Her questions were always incisive. She was a careful lawyer and she's led a remarkable legacy. Heidi and I, our prayers are with her family who are grieving the loss of someone who led an extraordinary life."

On the American people's desire to see constitutionalist judges confirmed to the Court, Sen. Cruz said:

"It's a question of checks and balances. In order for a Supreme Court nomination to go forward, you have to have the president and the Senate - in this instance, the American people voted. They elected Donald Trump. A big part of the reason they elected Donald Trump is because of the Scalia vacancy, and they wanted principled constitutionalists on the Court. And the big part of the reason why we have a Republican majority, elected in 2014, re-elected in 2016, grown even larger in 2018, a major issue in each of those elections is the American people voted and said, we want constitutionalist judges."

On the critical need for the Senate to quickly take up and confirm a successor by Election Day, Sen. Cruz said:

"Al Gore challenged the election results and for 36 days, the country was held in chaos. Well, if Joe Biden does that again this year [...] an equally divided court four-four can't decide anything. That could make this presidential election, drag on weeks and months and well into next year. That is an intolerable situation for the country. We need a full Court on Election Day, given the very high likelihood that we're going to see litigation that goes to the court. We need a Supreme Court that could that can give a definitive answer for the country."

On the historical precedent for filling a vacancy in an election year, Sen. Cruz added:

"Twenty-nine times there has been a vacancy in a presidential election year. Now, presidents have made nominations all 29 times. That's what presidents do. If there's a vacancy, they make a nomination. [...] When the Senate has been of the same party of the president, and a vacancy occurs in an election year, of the 29 times, those are 19 of them. Of those 19, the Senate has confirmed those nominees 17 times. So if the parties are the same, the Senate confirms the nominee."

Sen. Cruz concluded:

"I believe the American people want constitutionalists. We're one vote away from seeing our religious liberty rights stripped away, from our free speech stripped away, from our Second Amendment stripped away- this election matters and I think it is the most important issue in 2020-electing presidents and a Senate who will nominate and confirm strong constitutionalist to the Court."

READ: Sen. Cruz for Ginsburg -- 3 reasons why Senate must confirm her successor before Election Day

Read Sen. Cruz's full statement on the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg here.

WATCH: Cruz Mourns Passing of Justice Ginsburg, Calls on Senate to Confirm Successor Before Election