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All Eyes On These Senators—Collins, Graham, Grassley, Murkowski, Romney—As Trump, GOP Plot Supreme Court After Ginsburg

Topline

As President Trump pushes Republicans to act fast on a Supreme Court replacement for the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, all eyes are on these key Republican Senators who—based on previous statements and actions—could stand in the way of Trump getting his third Supreme Court appointment:

Key Facts

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told Alaska Public Media she would not vote to confirm a new justice if a vacancy opened up because it would be too close to the upcoming election, and that 2016 precedent (when President Obama’s pick was denied a vote because it was an election year) should be followed.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah):  Many speculate the senator—the only Republican to vote in favor of Trump’s impeachment—would vote to deny giving the president another chance to appoint a Supreme Court justice, but he has not made his plans known. 

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine): Facing a tight race for reelection, she told the New York Times that there wasn’t enough time before the election to vote on a Supreme Court justice before the election, and that she would oppose a vote during the lame-duck session if a different party won the presidency. 

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told Fox News in 2018 he would not support a Supreme Court nomination vote in 2020 following the commitment he made in 2016, adding “that’s a decision I made a long time ago.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made a similar vow the same year—but he has backtracked in interviews since, telling CNN this summer “I’d like to fill a vacancy. But we’d have to see.”

Surprising Fact

Ginsburg herself made no mystery of where she stood on her Supreme Court replacement during her final days. Her dying wish, as dictated to her granddaughter, was “that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

Tangent

Trump this week shared a list of possible Supreme Court nominations, made up of conservative figures like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett is also reported to be a favorite for the nomination.

Further Reading

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Liberal Icon, Dies At 87 (Forbes)

McConnell Vows To Hold Vote On Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee, But Will He Have The Votes? (Forbes)

McConnell Vows Vote on Ginsburg Replacement as Her Death Upends the 2020 Race (New York Times)

The GOP senators who will decide on Ginsburg’s vacancy (Washington Post)

Source:

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