Jimmy Kimmel kicks off 2020 Emmys with jabs at coronavirus, Trump supporters during virtual opening monologue

The 2020 Emmys kicked off during unprecedented times with a fakeout that saw the host pretend to present the opening monologue for an audience that wasn’t really there.

The 72nd Emmy Awards are without a doubt the most unique award show in recent memory thanks to the coronavirus pandemic forcing the broadcast to go virtual and forego the large gathering of celebrities dressed to the nines on the red carpet.

Still, that didn’t stop host Jimmy Kimmel from making the most out of a bad situation, kicking off the show with an opening monologue that poked fun at the pandemic, Trump supporters and Hollywood.

The host took the stage to thunderous applause from the audience, all of whom appeared to be live and in-person as he mocked the “frivolous and unnecessary” awards show. However, midway through the opening monologue, it became clear that the footage was just being reused from a previous show. Kimmel hung a lantern on that fact when he spotted himself in the crowd.

GIULIANA RANCIC, VIVICA FOX TEST POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS, ARE FORCED TO MISS 2020 EMMYS RED CARPET PRE-SHOW

Jimmy Kimmel kicked off the opening of the 72nd Emmy Awards with an awkward opening speech before a fake audience.

Jimmy Kimmel kicked off the opening of the 72nd Emmy Awards with an awkward opening speech before a fake audience. (ABC/Jeff Lipsky)

“Of course I’m here all alone, of course we don’t have an audience!” Kimmel said. “This isn’t a MAGA rally, it’s the Emmys. Instead of the live audience, we took a page from baseball and did cardboard cutouts of the nominees.”

With that, the host highlighted some cardboard cutouts in the crowd at the Staples Center before awkwardly noticing that “Ozark” star Jason Bateman was there in person. The star asked if he could stay because he’s been going crazy in quarantine. When Kimmel suggested that he could stay despite safety regulations if he agreed to laugh at his jokes.

“I’m out,” Bateman curtly replied.

The show then forged ahead with Kimmel revealing that more than 100 cameras were dispatched to stars all around the country so that they could tune in and give their acceptance speeches if they won. Jennifer Aniston arrived in person to announce that “Schitt’s Creek” actress Catharine O’Hara took home the first award of the night for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series. O’Hara’s on-screen husband, Eugene Levy, took home the next award for his role on the same show.

The series pulled off the hat trick by taking home the first three awards of the night when series creator and star Daniel Levy brought home the Emmy for outstanding writing in a comedy series.

ZENDAYA WOWS IN PLUNGING GOWN FOR EMMY AWARDS DESPITE NO RED CARPET

In this video grab captured on Sept. 20, 2020, courtesy of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and ABC Entertainment, Catherine O'Hara accepts the award for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for "Schitt's Creek" during the 72nd Emmy Awards broadcast. 

In this video grab captured on Sept. 20, 2020, courtesy of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and ABC Entertainment, Catherine O’Hara accepts the award for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for “Schitt’s Creek” during the 72nd Emmy Awards broadcast.  (The Television Academy and ABC Entertainment via AP)

“Getting to write David Rose, getting to write this show, getting to tell these stories has been the greatest and most cathartic experience of my life,” the younger Levy said after tearing up thanking his Emmy-winning dad.

Things got slightly political once again before the announcement of Daniel Levy again as the winner for outstanding directing in a comedy series when “Barry” actor Anthony Carrigan somewhat reprised his role from the show. He engaged in a bit with Kimmel in which he pretended to be a Russian operative impersonating a mail carrier out to steal mail-in-voting ballots. When Kimmel wasn’t fooled, Carrigan’s character settled for handing over the Emmy winners envelopes.

In this video grab captured on Sept. 20, 2020, courtesy of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and ABC Entertainment, Daniel Levy accepts the award for outstanding writing for a comedy series for "Schitt's Creek" during the 72nd Emmy Awards broadcast.

In this video grab captured on Sept. 20, 2020, courtesy of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and ABC Entertainment, Daniel Levy accepts the award for outstanding writing for a comedy series for “Schitt’s Creek” during the 72nd Emmy Awards broadcast. (The Television Academy and ABC Entertainment via AP)

The “Schitt’s Creek” winning streak continued for a fifth award when Daniel won outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series.

“OK, the Internet is about to turn on me,” he joked before giving his acceptance speech.

“Schitt’s Creek” continued its winning streak with Annie Murphy taking home the award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series. Finally, the show maintained its winning streak by taking home the coveted award for outstanding comedy series.

ZENDAYA WOWS IN PLUNGING GOWN FOR EMMY AWARDS DESPITE NO RED CARPET

Daniel spent his moment speaking to encourage fans to register and vote in November.

“I’m so sorry for making this political,” he said before turning things over to his dad, who promptly gave thanks to everyone involved, including his son.

Kimmel kept the jabs at Trump coming by noting that he should have built his wall on the northern border of the U.S., taking a shot at the Canada-based “Schitt’s Creek” cast.

“Has he tweeted yet? Oh, it’s Sunday, he’s probably at Church,” Kimmel said, mocking the president.

David Letterman arrived next for a pre-recorded segment in which he announced the first non-“Schitt’s Creek” related award of the night, which went to “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver.

In this video grab captured on Sept. 20, 2020, courtesy of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and ABC Entertainment, Regina King accepts the award for outstanding lead actress in a limited series or movie for "Watchmen" during the 72nd Emmy Awards broadcast.

In this video grab captured on Sept. 20, 2020, courtesy of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and ABC Entertainment, Regina King accepts the award for outstanding lead actress in a limited series or movie for “Watchmen” during the 72nd Emmy Awards broadcast. (The Television Academy and ABC Entertainment via AP)

As the show moved out of comedy, Regina King took home the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a limited series or movie for her leading role in HBO’s “Watchmen.” She was the first of the night to acknowledge the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died earlier this week at age 87. The actress was wearing a bright pink blazer and a black t-shirt with a photo of Breonna Taylor on it. Later in the night, Uzo Aduba, who won outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie, donned a shirt with Taylor’s name on it as well.

2020 CREATIVE ARTS EMMYS MISTAKE SEES ‘THIS IS US’ ACTOR’S AWARD ERRONEOUSLY ANNOUNCED FOR JASON BATEMAN

Mark Ruffalo kept the political ball rolling, giving a speech next after taking home the award for outstanding lead actor in a limited series or movie where he encouraged people to vote in November for “compassion and kindness” rather than a country of “hatred and division” that’s only for “a certain type of people.”

Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson got to speak next after winning for their writing on “Watchmen.” In his speech, Jefferson acknowledged the victims of the 1921 racially motivated massacre in Tulsa, Okla. that was used as the backdrop for the series.

“This country neglects and forgets its own history at its own peril often and I think that we should never forget them,” he said. “Thank you so much for this honor.”

Fortunately for viewers, the show wasn’t completely without levity. Kimmel introduced a segment halfway through the awards show that saw famous TV celebrities like Will Arnett, Kene Thompson, Bob Newhart and more explain what they’re doing in quarantine. The bit featured former “Saturday Night Live” star David Spade dress up as “Tiger King” subject Joe Exotic.

However, things took a turn back to the political when Anthony Anderson took the stage to announce that “Watchmen” had won outstanding limited series. He joined Kimmel on stage for a message in support of Black artists.

“We have a record number of Black Emmy nominees this year, which is great,” he began. “These Emmys would have been the NBA All-Star weekend and Wakanda all wrapped into one. This was supposed to be the Blackest Emmys ever. Yall wouldn’t be able to handle how Black it was going to be, but because of COVID, we can’t even get in the damn building!”

THE 72ND EMMY® AWARDS - Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the "72nd Emmy® Awards" will broadcast SUNDAY, SEPT. 20 (8:00 p.m. EDT/6:00 p.m. MDT/5:00 p.m. PDT), on ABC.

THE 72ND EMMY® AWARDS – Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the “72nd Emmy® Awards” will broadcast SUNDAY, SEPT. 20 (8:00 p.m. EDT/6:00 p.m. MDT/5:00 p.m. PDT), on ABC. (ABC via Getty Images)

“But not tonight… no, not tonight, this isn’t what it should have been, Jimmy but you know what, I’m still rooting for everybody Black, because Balck stories, Black performance and Black lives matter,” Anderson continued. “And because Black lives matter, Black people will stay at home tonight to be safe, which is fine because guess what, yall don’t know how to light us anyway.”

MARK RUFFALO URGES AMERICANS TO VOTE FOR ‘COMPASSION AND KINDNESS’ IN EMMYS SPEECH ABOUT NATION’S DIVERSITY

Kimmel took another shot at Trump after the In Memoriam segment when it came time to announce the winner of outstanding reality-competition program.

“Past losers of this category have gone on to become President of the United States,” he joked.

Trump was nominated in that category in 2004 and 2005 for NBC’s “The Apprentice.”

The award ultimately went to “RuPaul’s Drag Race” in 2020.

In this video grab captured on Sept. 20, 2020, courtesy of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and ABC Entertainment, Tyler Perry accepts the Governors award during the 72nd Emmy Awards broadcast. 

In this video grab captured on Sept. 20, 2020, courtesy of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and ABC Entertainment, Tyler Perry accepts the Governors award during the 72nd Emmy Awards broadcast.  (The Television Academy and ABC Entertainment via AP)

A top honor of the evening, the Governors Award, went to Tyler Perry for his work in TV, producing countless episodes with predominantly Black actors. He took the stage to tell a story about a patchwork quilt his grandmother gave him, noting that people used to sew memories into a quilt to represent their lives. Although he didn’t respect the quilt when he had it, he noted that he’s proud to make a quilt of his own in which he can celebrate the opportunities he’s given the Black community in the entertainment industry. 

Check back for updates.

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Biden makes a more moderate appeal on next justice

WASHINGTON – Joe Biden on Sunday sought to derail a push by President Donald Trump to swiftly install a new Supreme Court justice, making an unusually personal appeal to Senate Republicans to “cool the flames” and sidestepping calls from many in his own party for dramatic retaliatory measures such as expanding the size of the Supreme Court if Trump presses ahead.

Seeking to present himself as a president who would defuse the political and cultural battles engulfing the nomination process, Biden said that if he wins the November election he should be the one to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have vowed to quickly replace.

Speaking in Philadelphia, Biden issued an extraordinary appeal to his former Senate colleagues, pleading with moderate Republicans to oppose Trump and McConnell and saying the vacancy presents those senators with a moral test.

“We need to de-escalate, not escalate,” Biden said. “So I appeal to those few Senate Republicans, the handful who really will decide what happens: Please, follow your conscience. Don’t vote to confirm anyone nominated under the circumstances President Trump and Senator McConnell have created. Don’t go there.”

Biden’s remarks contrasted the reaction of many Democratic activists who are enraged that McConnell is pushing an election-year appointment after blocking President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland four years ago. Proposals such as adding more justices to the Supreme Court, long considered fringe, are gaining more acceptance in the party’s mainstream, as many Democrats say Republicans are no longer playing by long-accepted rules.

Rather than weighing in on such ideas, Biden stressed less-polarizing issues – noting that a new conservative justice could threaten the Affordable Care Act, which faces a challenge before the Supreme Court, and strip away health-care protections during a pandemic. It was part of a synchronized message on the court and the ACA, known as Obamacare, with top Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill. A Biden aide said both sides were in touch and would be coordinating regularly.

While Trump has released a list of potential appointees to the court, Biden said Sunday that he would not do so, suggesting it would inflame tensions and subject the prospects to political attacks. He reiterated his commitment to nominating an African American woman, and said Republican and Democratic senators would have input on his selection.

Supreme Court confirmation battles have been among the most explosive political events of recent years, culminating in the angry 2018 fight over now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The prospect of another such battle threatened to further roil the already bitter presidential campaign at a time when Biden is seeking to project the aura of a different kind of leader. With Sunday’s comments, Biden turned the Supreme Court vacancy into an early test of his philosophy that Democrats should reach out to receptive Republicans rather than match the GOP’s belligerence with their own – an approach that is rejected by many in the party’s liberal wing.

During his speech at the Constitution Center, the former vice president stressed repeatedly that voting had already begun, saying that would make the rush to confirm a new justice an affront to democracy.

He offered a simple proposition: If Trump wins, the Senate ought to consider his pick. But if Biden wins, Trump needs to withdraw his nominee.

This is not the first time Biden has faced calls from the resurgent left of the Democratic Party to adopt a far-reaching position – from “Medicare-for-all” to “defund the police.” Each time, he has quickly disavowed those positions, while promising to take strong action of his own.

On Sunday, he noted that Senate Republicans have not yet confirmed a nominee, and made it clear that he was focused on preventing them from doing so, rather than contemplating the consequences if they did. “I’m not going to assume failure at this point,” Biden said. “I believe the voices of the American people should be heard and will be heard.”

His comments were notable for urging Republicans to disregard the position of their party leaders, Trump and McConnell. “The last thing we need is to add a constitutional crisis that plunges us deeper into the abyss, deeper into the darkness,” he said.

Some on Biden’s team have been aggravated by the calls on the left to expand the court, expressing particular annoyance with Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., who urged Democrats to abolish the filibuster and add more justices if Senate Republicans move to fill the vacancy.

“People in your own party shouldn’t cause you problems 44 days out,” said one adviser, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid.

But outside pressure has been building for Biden to do and say more, especially about the kind of justice he would nominate. “He has to,” said Shaunna Thomas, the co-founder of UltraViolet, a women’s group. “He’s in a unique position as the candidate to help people understand exactly what is at stake.”

The notion of “court packing” has suffered from a bad reputation since President Franklin D. Roosevelt tried and failed in 1937 to expand the Supreme Court, frustrated that the current justices were rejecting many of his New Deal programs. But the Constitution does not specify a particular number of justices; there have been as few as five and as many as 10 over the nation’s history.

Biden advisers are determined not to bow to forces urging them to change their approach. They have long been content focusing voter attention on Trump’s widely criticized handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and are reluctant to get enmeshed in a fight that could alienate centrist voters. On Sunday, Biden aimed to draw a direct connection between the court battle and the virus, citing the threats a more conservative panel would pose to the ACA.

“If Donald Trump has his way, the complications from covid-19 . . . like lung scarring and heart damage, could become the next deniable preexisting condition,” Biden said.

Democrats fear a new conservative justice succeeding the liberal Ginsburg could tilt the court to the right and tip the outcome on high-profile cases for decades to come. Biden said the environment and the rights of voters, immigrants and women were also at stake. But he avoided specific mention of divisive topics such as abortion and guns.

Although Biden’s advisers believe that the vacancy could energize voters concerned about issues like health care and women’s rights, they do not plan to make the court a primary part of their campaign message.

“It highlights the importance of the role of the president,” said Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., co-chairman of Biden’s campaign. “This will double down on the seriousness of this election. If the 200,000 covid deaths didn’t do it, this will do it.”

This tempered view of how to handle the vacancy is partly due to polling reviewed by the Biden team showing that most voters are not familiar with the Supreme Court’s activities. “You can expect it to come up in a way that reinforces the core message, but we’re not going to reorient our campaign around a set of talking points that only resonates with D.C. insiders and court watchers,” said one Biden adviser.

Republican leaders hope a divisive battle will revive their flagging efforts to keep the presidency and the Senate in the November election by providing GOP voters who have soured on Trump incentive to put aside their differences.

“Biden knows that he is an empty vessel for the radical left, and that’s why he’s refusing to be honest with the American people about who he would want on the court,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said in a statement.

While Biden has said he has been working on a list of potential nominees, he defended his decision not to publicize it. “Putting a judge’s name on a list like that could influence that person’s decision-making as a judge – and that would be wrong,” he said.

After committing during the primary to appointing a Black woman, he has rarely talked about the Supreme Court.

The Democratic nominee steered clear of another Republican target Sunday by making no mention Sunday of expanding the court. While he has not referenced it explicitly since Ginsburg’s death, Biden has in the past been adamantly opposed to the idea.

“I think it’s a bad idea,” he said in August 2019 during a trip to Iowa. “It will come back to bite us. It should not be a political football.”

Whether Biden and the Democrats can stop Republicans from confirming Trump’s forthcoming nominee remains an open question. They received a boost on Sunday when Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, joined Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, in opposition to taking up a nominee so close to the election. Under the current balance of the Senate, Republicans can afford only one more defection, assuming that the entire Democratic caucus stays unified in opposition.

One area where the Biden team believes the vacancy could be helpful is among women under 40, who have been slow to rally behind his candidacy. The galvanizing issue for many of these voters is the possibility of losing abortion rights if Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case guaranteeing the right to an abortion, is overturned.

Outside the campaign, some Democratic-aligned groups plan to focus more intently on the court fight over the next few weeks. Leaders of women’s groups and liberal organizations immediately began discussing a 50-state march intended to echo both the 2016 Women’s March and the demonstrations in 2018 after Kavanaugh joined the court.

“A real uprising, that has got to be [Ginsburg’s] legacy,” said Hilary Rosen, a Democratic strategist close to the Biden campaign and the co-founder of Times Up Legal Defense Fund, an organization to help survivors of sexual harassment.

The demonstrations will be geared toward motivating voter turnout and might be organized as marches to the polls, Rosen said.

Ginsburg’s death, and the resulting vacancy, has had an enormous impact on the party’s fundraising. ActBlue, a clearinghouse for Democratic donations, announced Sunday that it had raised $100 million from small-dollar donors since news of Ginsburg’s death broke Friday night.

– – –

The Washington Post’s Felicia Sonmez contributed to this report.

An anti-racism checklist: Supporting Black employees in tech

… to embrace anti-racism. Diversity training and … racism could look like in tech. 1. Acknowledge the experiences of Black Americans … and challenges for Black Americans, which are different … stability. Systemic racism means that Black Americans don’t always … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News

Biden warns that a quick replacement of Ginsburg would “plunge us deeper into the abyss”

By , Matt Viser and Annie Linskey,

Joe Biden on Sunday sought to derail a push by President Trump to swiftly install a new Supreme Court justice, making an unusually personal appeal to Senate Republicans to “cool the flames” and sidestepping calls from many in his own party for dramatic retaliatory measures such as expanding the size of the Supreme Court if Trump presses ahead.

Seeking to present himself as a president who would defuse the political and cultural battles engulfing the nomination process, Biden said that if he wins the November election he should be the one to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have vowed to quickly replace.

Speaking in Philadelphia, Biden issued an extraordinary appeal to his former Senate colleagues, pleading with moderate Republicans to oppose Trump and McConnell and saying the vacancy presents those senators with a moral test.

“We need to de-escalate, not escalate,” Biden said. “So I appeal to those few Senate Republicans, the handful who really will decide what happens: Please, follow your conscience. Don’t vote to confirm anyone nominated under the circumstances President Trump and Senator McConnell have created. Don’t go there.”

Biden’s remarks contrasted sharply with the reaction of many Democratic activists who are enraged that McConnell is pushing an election-year appointment after blocking President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland four years ago. Proposals like adding more justices to the Supreme Court, long considered fringe, are gaining more acceptance in the party’s mainstream, as many Democrats say Republicans are no longer playing by long-accepted rules.

Rather than weighing in on such ideas, Biden stressed less-polarizing issues — noting that a new conservative justice could threaten the Affordable Care Act, which currently faces a challenge before the Supreme Court, and strip away health-care protections during a pandemic. It was part of a synchronized message on the court and the ACA with top Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill. A Biden aide said both sides were in touch and would be coordinating regularly.

While Trump has released a list of potential appointees to the court, Biden said Sunday he would not do so, suggesting it would inflame tensions and subject the prospects to political attacks. He reiterated his commitment to nominating an African American woman, and said that both Republican and Democratic senators would have input on his selection.

Supreme Court confirmation battles have been among the most explosive political events of recent years, culminating in the angry 2018 fight over now-Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. The prospect of another such battle threatened to further roil the already bitter presidential campaign at a time when Biden is seeking to project the aura of a different kind of leader. With Sunday’s comments, he turned the Supreme Court vacancy into an early test of his philosophy that Democrats should reach out to receptive Republicans rather than match the GOP’s belligerence with their own — an approach that is rejected by many in the party’s liberal wing.

During his speech at the National Constitution Center, the former vice president stressed repeatedly that voting had already begun, saying that would make the rush to confirm a new justice an affront to democracy.

He offered a simple proposition: If Trump wins, the Senate ought to consider his pick. But if Biden wins, Trump needs to withdraw his nominee.

This is not the first time Biden has faced calls from the resurgent left of the Democratic Party to adopt a far-reaching position — from “Medicare-for-all” to “Defund the police.” Each time, he has quickly disavowed those positions, while promising to take strong action of his own.

On Sunday, he noted pointedly that Senate Republicans have not yet confirmed a nominee, and made it clear that he was focused on preventing them from doing so, rather than contemplating the consequences if they did. “I’m not going to assume failure at this point,” Biden said. “I believe the voices of the American people should be heard and will be heard.”

His comments were notable for urging Republicans to disregard the position of their party leaders, Trump and McConnell. “The last thing we need is to add a constitutional crisis that plunges us deeper into the abyss, deeper into the darkness,” he said.

Some on Biden’s team have been aggravated by the calls on the left to expand the court, expressing particular annoyance with Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) for urging Democrats to abolish the filibuster and add more justices if Senate Republicans move to fill the vacancy.

“People in your own party shouldn’t cause you problems 44 days out,” said one adviser, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid.

The notion of “court packing” has suffered from a bad reputation since President Franklin D. Roosevelt tried and failed in 1937 to expand the Supreme Court, frustrated that the current justices were rejecting many of his New Deal programs. But the Constitution does not specify a particular number of justices; there have been as few as five and as many as 10 over the nation’s history.

Outside pressure has been building for Biden to do and say more, especially about the kind of justice he would nominate. “He has to,” said Shaunna Thomas, the co-founder of UltraViolet, a women’s group. “He’s in a unique position as the candidate to help people understand exactly what is at stake.”

Biden advisers are determined not to bow to forces urging them to change their approach. They have long been content focusing voter attention on Trump’s widely criticized handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and are reluctant to get enmeshed in a fight that could alienate centrist voters. On Sunday, Biden aimed to draw a direct connection between the court battle and the virus, citing the threats a more conservative panel would pose to the ACA.

“If Donald Trump has his way, the complications from covid-19 . . . like lung scarring and heart damage, could become the next deniable preexisting condition,” Biden said.

Democrats fear a new conservative justice succeeding the liberal Ginsburg could tilt the court to the right and tip the outcome on high-profile cases for decades to come. Biden said the environment and the rights of voters, immigrants and women were also at stake. But he avoided specific mention of divisive topics such as abortion and guns.

Although Biden’s advisers believe that the vacancy could energize voters concerned about issues like health care and women’s rights, they do not plan to make the court a primary part of their campaign message.

“It highlights the importance of the role of the president,” said Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.), co-chairman of Biden’s campaign. “This will double down on the seriousness of this election. If the 200,000 covid deaths didn’t do it, this will do it.”

This tempered view of how to handle the vacancy is partly due to polling reviewed by the Biden team showing that most voters are not familiar with the Supreme Court’s activities. “You can expect it to come up in a way that reinforces the core message, but we’re not going to reorient our campaign around a set of talking points that only resonates with D.C. insiders and court watchers,” said one Biden adviser.

Republican leaders, by contrast, hope a divisive battle will revive their flagging efforts to keep the presidency and the Senate in the November election by providing GOP voters who have soured on Trump incentive to put aside their differences.

“Biden knows that he is an empty vessel for the radical left, and that’s why he’s refusing to be honest with the American people about who he would want on the court,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said in a statement.

While Biden has said he has been working on a list of potential nominees, he defended his decision not to publicize it. “Putting a judge’s name on a list like that could influence that person’s decision-making as a judge — and that would be wrong,” he said.

After committing during the primary to appointing a Black woman, he has rarely talked about the Supreme Court.

The Democratic presidential nominee steered clear of another Republican target Sunday by making no mention of expanding the court. While he has not referenced it explicitly since Ginsburg’s death, Biden has in the past been adamantly opposed to the idea.

“I think it’s a bad idea,” he said in August 2019 during a trip to Iowa. “It will come back to bite us. It should not be a political football.”

Whether Biden and the Democrats can stop Republicans from confirming Trump’s forthcoming nominee remains an open question. They received a boost on Sunday when Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) joined Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) in opposition to taking up a nominee so close to the election. Under the current balance of the Senate, Republicans can afford only one more defection, assuming the entire Democratic caucus stays unified in opposition.

One area where the Biden team believes the vacancy could be helpful is among women under 40, who have been slow to rally behind to his candidacy. The galvanizing issue for many of these voters is the possibility of losing abortion rights if Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case guaranteeing the right to an abortion, is overturned.

Outside the campaign, some Democratic-aligned groups plan to focus more intently on the court fight over the next few weeks. Leaders of women’s groups and liberal organizations immediately began discussing a 50-state march intended to echo both the 2016 Women’s March and the demonstrations in 2018 after Kavanaugh joined the court.

“A real uprising, that has got to be [Ginsburg’s] legacy,” said Hilary Rosen, a Democratic strategist close to the Biden campaign and the co-founder of Times Up Legal Defense Fund, an organization to help survivors of sexual harassment.

The demonstrations will be geared toward motivating voter turnout and might be organized as marches to the polls, Rosen said.

Ginsburg’s death, and the resulting vacancy, has already had an enormous impact on the party’s fundraising. ActBlue, a clearinghouse for Democratic donations, announced Sunday it had raised $100 million from small-dollar donors since news broke Friday night of Ginsburg’s death.

Felicia Sonmez contributed to this report.

As Supreme Court Fight Heats Up, Biden Urges Republican Senators to ‘Follow Your Conscience’

Joseph R. Biden Jr. urged Republicans on Sunday not to rush a Supreme Court nominee through the Senate in the final six weeks before the presidential election, suggesting that such a move would amount to an “abuse of power” at an already perilous moment in American political history.

In his first extensive remarks on the looming Supreme Court battle since he acknowledged the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, Mr. Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, appealed directly to the few pivotal Senate Republicans “who really will decide what happens,” urging them to oppose an effort to push through a new nominee before the election.

“Please, follow your conscience,” he pleaded in a speech at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. “Don’t vote to confirm anyone nominated under the circumstances President Trump and Senator McConnell have created. Don’t go there. Uphold your constitutional duty. Your conscience. Let the people speak. Cool the flames that have been engulfing our country.”

Mr. Trump has promised to nominate a woman for the position in the next week, seizing on an issue that has the potential to electrify the bases of both political parties and to inject a new measure of uncertainty into an already unpredictable presidential race. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, has vowed to hold a floor vote.

Many Republican senators have already indicated their support for Mr. Trump’s approach, fueling long-simmering Democratic skepticism over Mr. Biden’s insistence that bipartisan cooperation was still possible, even in an era of political polarization. Mr. Biden promised on Sunday that as president, he would consult with senators from both parties before selecting his own nominee, part of “a process that restores our finest traditions, not the extension of one that’s torn this country apart the last years.”

He also said that he did not intend to release his own list of possible Supreme Court choices before the election, as Mr. Trump has done. But Mr. Biden reiterated his pledge to put a Black woman on the court, which he first made during the Democratic primary race. “I made it clear that my first choice for the Supreme Court will make history as the first African-American woman justice,” he said.

If Mr. Trump wins, he said, “then the Senate should move on his selection and weigh the nominee he chooses fairly.”

“But if I win this election, President Trump’s nominee should be withdrawn,” Mr. Biden continued. “As the new president, I should be the one who nominates Justice Ginsburg’s successor, a nominee who should get a fair hearing in the Senate.”

ImageIn a speech in Philadelphia on Sunday, Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee, urged Republican senators to oppose an effort to confirm a Supreme Court nominee before the election.
Credit…Kriston Jae Bethel for The New York Times

Mr. Biden’s remarks come as he and other Democrats seek to frame the Supreme Court fight around health care. Amid coordination between the Democratic presidential ticket and Democratic leadership in the House and the Senate, the party is casting its arguments in particular around protecting the Affordable Care Act and its guarantee of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, especially in a pandemic. Arguments in a case that may determine the future of the health law are set for a week after Election Day, and the Trump administration is asking the court to strike down the law.

Health care was a key issue for Mr. Biden and other Democratic candidates even before Justice Ginsburg’s death, as they hoped for a repeat of the success that Democratic House candidates found in the 2018 midterm elections, when the party won control of the chamber. And for months, Mr. Biden had sought to make the election a referendum on Mr. Trump’s stewardship of the pandemic and its associated economic fallout.

Over the weekend, Biden allies sought to link that message to the Supreme Court, arguing that the coronavirus crisis makes the issue of health care protections all the more urgent. Mr. Biden addressed both of those issues on Sunday as he described the stakes of the current political moment.

“We’re in the middle of a pandemic,” he said, going on to add, “Health care in this country hangs in the balance before the court.”

Mr. Biden first weighed in on the Supreme Court vacancy on Friday night, saying in brief remarks that it should not be filled until after the election and pointing to the refusal of Senate Republicans to consider President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick B. Garland in 2016.

But Mr. Trump and Mr. McConnell are pressing ahead with plans to vote on a nominee, a strategy that is fueling calls among some Democrats to consider extreme options should they win in November. Already, some progressives are pushing Democrats to get behind the idea of expanding the size of the Supreme Court in response if the party wins control of the White House and the Senate. Mr. Biden has previously expressed opposition to the idea of adding seats to the court.

During his speech on Sunday, Mr. Biden specified that he was not speaking to Mr. Trump or Mr. McConnell, but rather Republican senators “who know deep down what is right for the country and consistent with the Constitution,” saying at another point that “we need to de-escalate, not escalate.”

Before the speech, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, Tim Murtaugh, criticized Mr. Biden for not releasing a list of potential Supreme Court nominees.

“Biden knows that he is an empty vessel for the radical left, and that’s why he’s refusing to be honest with the American people about who he would want on the court,” Mr. Murtaugh said in a statement.

But in his speech, Mr. Biden firmly rejected the idea of releasing a list. He inaccurately said that “the Trump campaign asked that I release the list only after she passed away,” referring to Justice Ginsburg; the Trump campaign called on him to do so earlier this month when the president released his own list.

“It’s a game for them,” Mr. Biden said. “It’s a play to gin up emotions and anger.”