Murkowski becomes second GOP senator opposing confirmation of new Supreme Court justice before election – World –

Lisa Murkowski is seen during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss vaccines and protecting public health during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Washington, US, September 9, 2020.[Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON — US Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski said Sunday she opposed voting on a nominee to replace late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, making her the second GOP senator to announce that position.

“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 in a statement.

The senator from Alaska said she did not support a Senate vote on then-President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, to replace late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a Republican appointee, months before the 2016 election.

“We are now even closer to the 2020 election – less than two months out – and I believe the same standard must apply.”

Prior to Murkowski, Susan Collins, Republican senator of Maine, said Saturday that given the proximity of the presidential election and due to concerns over “fairness for the American people,” she believed the Senate should not vote on a nominee before the election, adding “the decision on a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the President who is elected on November 3rd.”

Senate Republicans, who hold a 53-47 majority in the chamber, can only afford a total of three defections within their party for a Trump nominee to be approved.

Following the passing of Ginsburg on Friday, Democrats maintained that a nominee be tapped by the next president, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said a justice nominated by President Donald Trump will get a vote in the Senate.

Trump on Saturday urged Republicans in a tweet to confirm his nomination “without delay,” later telling reporters that he will “most likely” announce a female nominee “next week.”

Ginsburg, 87, died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer on Friday.

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