Ginsburg vacancy puts pressure on Trump-critic Republicans in Senate
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the maverick Republican from Alaska, said Friday before news broke of Ginsburg’s death that she would not vote for a new Supreme Court justice before the election. “We are 50 some days away from an election,” she said in an interview, according to Alaska Public Media.
In 2016, Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., said he believed Scalia’s February death was too close to the November election to not have voters weigh in, according to the Denver Post. “The president who is elected in November should be the one who makes this decision,” he said at the time.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, another vulnerable lawmaker in a state that isn’t deeply red, declined to comment Friday on whether she’d support a pre-election vote, the Portland Press Herald reported. Collins has been consistently running behind her Democratic challenger Sara Gideon, Maine’s speaker of the House, in what’s shaping up to be her most difficult reelection effort yet.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, hasn’t weighed in yet, but he has already proven he isn’t afraid to defy his party: Romney was the only Republican senator to vote to impeach Trump in February, much to the ire of Trump supporters.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, in a July call with donors, said he wouldn’t advocate holding hearings for a Trump nominee. In 2016, Grassley, then the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, blocked hearings for Merrick Garland, citing the “Biden rule,” a 1992 speech in which then-Sen. Joe Biden said then-President George H.W. Bush should wait until after the election to appoint a Supreme Court pick. Grassley isn’t up for reelection.