Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) confirmed in a Sunday statement that she opposes replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the November election.
“For weeks, I have stated that I would not support taking up a potential Supreme Court vacancy this close to the election. Sadly, what was then a hypothetical is now our reality, but my position has not changed,” Murkowski said, according to The Hill.
“I did not support taking up a nomination eight months before the 2016 election to fill the vacancy created by the passing of Justice Scalia. We are now even closer to the 2020 election – less than two months out – and I believe the same standard must apply,” she added.
In an interview with Alaska Public Media, Murkowski had expressed the same opinion just hours before Ginsburg’s death was announced Friday, saying it “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.”
“So I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee,” Murkowski continued. “We are 50-some days away from an election, and the good news for us is that all of our Supreme Court justices are in good health and doing their job. And we pray that they are able to continue that.”
She joins her colleague Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) in opposing an immediate replacement. As The Daily Wire reported, Collins released a statement on Saturday explaining why she was against pushing through a nominee as soon as possible:
In order for the American people to have faith in their elected officials, we must act fairly and consistently—no matter which political party is in power. President Trump has the constitutional authority to make a nomination to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, and I would have no objection to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s beginning the process of reviewing his nominee’s credentials.
Given the proximity of the presidential election, however, I do not believe that the Senate should vote on the nominee prior to the election. In fairness to the American people, who will either be re-electing the President or selecting a new one, the decision of a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the President who is elected on November 3rd.
President Donald Trump hit at both Murkowski and Collins, telling reporters on Saturday in reference to Collins, “I totally disagree with her. We won, and we have an obligation as the winners to pick who we want. That’s not the next president. Hopefully, I’ll be the next president.”
Trump also threw shade at Murkowski, tweeting on Sunday morning “No thanks!” in response to an invitation to receive free tickets to her speech.
No thanks! https://t.co/wNtwLKYDmY
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2020