On Tuesday, Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski seemingly reversed herself from her position from late last week, as she stated that she would not rule out voting for a Trump nominee to the Supreme Court if the vote comes up before the November election.
“I know everybody wants to ask the question, ‘Will you confirm the nominee?'” said the senator, as Alaska Public Media reported. “We don’t have a nominee yet. You and I don’t know who that is. And so I can’t confirm whether or not I can confirm a nominee when I don’t know who the nominee is.”
Murkowski added that she still opposes a Senate confirmation vote with the election six weeks away, saying, “I do not support this process moving forward.” But then she stated, “Now, having said that, this process is moving forward with or without me.”
“If I had felt that there was a rush to move this through because you’re up against a deadline that is hard and fast, like an election, and that a nominee had not been thoroughly and fairly evaluated through our process, then I’m going to have to look at that,” Murkowski said.
Last week, before the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, Murkowski told Alaska Public Media, “I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. We are 50 some days away from an election.”
Referring to 2016 when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell held off holding a hearing on former President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, and her support of McConnell’s decision, Murkowski added, “That was too close to an election, and that the people needed to decide. That the closer you get to an election, that argument becomes even more important … And so I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee.”
Now that Murkowski has seemingly accepted that a hearing will be held on a Trump nominee and Republican Senator Mitt Romney has also indicated he would not oppose such a hearing, the chances of President Trump succeeding in filling the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by Ginsburg’s death have ballooned considerably.
Romney said Tuesday morning that he supports giving President Donald Trump’s next Supreme Court nominee a floor vote.
“Sen. Mitt Romney said he would support a floor vote on President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court, essentially clinching consideration of Trump’s nominee this year despite the impending election,” POLITICO noted Tuesday. “Just two Republican senators have asked for the party to put the brakes on the confirmation. And with a 53-seat majority, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell now has the votes he needs to move forward with a nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”
“I intend to follow the Constitution and precedent in considering the president’s nominee. If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, I intend to vote based upon their qualifications,” Romney said.