Murkowski becomes 2nd GOP senator to oppose a vote on Trump Supreme Court nominee before election

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) arrives at a weekly Senate Republican Policy Luncheon at Hart Senate Office Building August 4, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said on Sunday that she will not support President Donald Trump’s nomination of a replacement to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before Election Day.

The announcement makes Murkowski the second Republican in the Senate, after Susan Collins of Maine, to announce her opposition to filling Ginsburg’s seat before Nov. 3. The announcement narrows the path for Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to place Ginsburg’s successor before voters decide whether Trump will hold the White House for a second term. 

“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.

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

The GOP has a 53-seat majority in Congress’s upper chamber, meaning the party will not be able to confirm a justice if more than three senators defect, assuming every Democrat votes against the nominee. 

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