(CNSNews.com) - In order for a Supreme Court nomination to go forward, the Senate must be controlled by the same party as the president, Sen. Ted Cruz told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.
That's the situation today, because that's how the American people voted in 2016. It was not the situation when then-President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in 2016, eight months before the presidential election, which Donald Trump won.
"In this instance, the American people voted," Cruz said:
They elected Donald Trump. A big part of the reason they elected Donald Trump is because of the (Justice Antonin) Scalia vacancy, and they wanted principled constitutionalists on the court.
And the big part of the reason why we have a Republican (Senate) 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.
And so the president was elected to do this, and the Senate was elected to confirm this nomination.
Cruz said he believes the Senate should take up whatever Supreme Court nomination President Trump makes and "confirm the nominee before election day."
Cruz said if Democrats controlled both the White House and the Senate, they most certainly would nominate and confirm a Supreme Court justice without waiting for the results of the next election:
"And everyone knows that if the president were Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton, and Chuck Schumer were the majority leader, the odds are 100 percent -- 100 percent -- (they would say), we are going to confirm this seat.
"And at the end of the day, how do you resolve those differences? Well, the American people do. And the American people did, by electing a president and a Senate committed to justices who will defend free speech and religious liberty and the Second Amendment and our fundamental rights. Because all of those rights are one vote away."
Cruz said he doesn't know if Republicans will have enough votes to confirm Trump's pick: "I don't know the answer to that. I believe we will. I think it is particularly important that the Senate take it up and confirm this -- this nomination before the election."
Cruz is out with a new book titled "One Vote Away: How a Single Supreme Court Seat Can Change History."
"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," he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos.
"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 constitutionalists to the court."