Lisa Murkowski becomes the second Republican Senator to oppose taking up the nomination before the election.
By: New York Times
"For weeks, I have stated that I would not support taking up a potential Supreme Court vacancy this close to the election""For weeks, I have stated that I would not support taking up a potential Supreme Court vacancy this close to the election"
The only Republicans with balls are the women.
A second Republican senator came out against taking up a Supreme Court nomination before the election, potentially complicating Republican efforts to let President Trump swiftly fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican from Alaska,
speaks to reporters before going a luncheon
with other Senate Republicans in Washington
on July 23rd.
Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times
Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, said in a statement on Sunday that she would not support confirming a Supreme Court nominee before Election Day. Having objected to filling the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, she said she believed "the same standard must apply" less than two months before the presidential election.
"For weeks, I have stated that I would not support taking up a potential Supreme Court vacancy this close to the election," Ms. Murkowski said in a statement. "Sadly, what was then a hypothetical is now our reality, but my position has not changed."
"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," she said in the statement. "We are now even closer to the 2020 election — less than two months out — and I believe the same standard must apply."
Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, on Saturday said not only that the Senate should not vote on a nominee before the election, but that the victor in the presidential election on Nov. 3 should fill the vacancy.
But another moderate senator, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, a retiring Republican considered by many to be a strong defender of Senate traditions, on Sunday joined the growing ranks of Republicans in support of confirming Mr. Trump's pick.
"No one should be surprised that a Republican Senate majority would vote on a Republican president's Supreme Court nomination, even during a presidential election year," Mr. Alexander said in a statement. "The Constitution gives senators the power to do it. The voters who elected them expect it."
Ms. Murkowski's stance against a vote ahead of the November election was striking, particularly given signals from the White House that the administration hopes to nominate someone for the position in the coming days.
It remains unclear, however, whether Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, will hold a vote on a Supreme Court nominee before November, though on Friday he vowed that the Senate would vote on Mr. Trump's nominee.
With Ms. Murkowski and Ms. Collins both publicly voicing their objections to such a timeline, Mr. McConnell can only afford to lose the support of two more Republican senators.