Sen. Susan Collins said the upper chamber should not vote on a nominee to the Supreme Court until after the November election.
In a statement to the Washington Examiner on Saturday, the Republican made it clear that she believes the winner of that contest, be it Joe Biden or President Trump, should get to decide on the appointment.
“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,” Collins said.
“Given the proximity of the presidential election, however, I do not believe that the Senate should vote on the nominee prior to the election,” she added. “In fairness to the American people, who will either be reelecting the president or selecting a new one, the decision on a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the president who is elected on November 3rd.”
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87, died on Friday at her home in Washington after a long battle with cancer, creating a vacancy on the court.
Within hours of news of the liberal justice’s death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate will vote on Trump’s nominee, if he is to put one up. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said the vacancy should not be filled “until we have a new president.” Biden said a replacement should not be chosen until after the election.
Republicans hold a narrow margin in the Senate, with only 53 of the Senate’s 100 votes. Depending on the result of a Senate special election in Arizona, the margin could get even thinner between Election Day and the inauguration in January. Vice President Mike Pence can also vote in the event of a tie.
Hours before the news broke about Ginsburg’s death, Sen. Lisa Murkowski expressed that she would not vote on a nominee before the Nov. 3 election.