Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins does not support voting to confirm a Supreme Court justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg until after Election Day, she announced in a statement Saturday.
Collins is among the most vulnerable Republican senators going into Election Day, trailing her Democratic opponent by five points.
President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have both confirmed they intend to move forward with replacing Ginsburg, who passed away Friday evening, before the election on November 3. Collins and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski are so far the only Republicans to confirm they won’t support the move. (RELATED: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Been Undergoing Cancer Treatment Since May)
“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,” Collins wrote. “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 for 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,” she added. “In fairness to the American people, who will either be re-electing 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.” (RELATED: REPORT: Here Are The Women At The Top Of Trump’s List To Replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg)
My statement on the Supreme Court vacancy: pic.twitter.com/jvYyDN5gG4
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) September 19, 2020
Trump said Saturday morning that he’s pressing forward with the nomination, and McConnell said as much Friday night.
“We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices,” Trump tweeted, tagging the Republican Party in his tweet.
“We have this obligation, without delay,” he added.
McConnell and Republicans currently hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, and it is unclear whether Collins and Murkowski will vote against Trump’s nominee outright or merely abstain.