All eyes on the senate
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) says she won't vote on a Supreme Court nomination until after the election. Or at least that's what she said in an interview with Alaska Public Media only hours before the news of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's passing was reported late Friday.
"I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. We are 50 some days away from an election," she reportedly said, referencing the 2016 case of Merrick Garland, when Republicans in the Senate, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), blocked President Obama's nomination to replace Justice Antonin Scalia after he died that February. "That was too close to an election, and the people needed to decide."
McConnell, for his part, has already said he has no problem moving forward right away. "President Trump's nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate," he said in a statement Friday night. With that stance, tremendous pressure will fall on Murkowski and other moderate Republican senators like Susan Collins (Maine) and Mitt Romney (Utah) to stick to Murkowski's stated position.
Republicans could attempt to have it both ways and wait for the lame duck session after the election. Of course, confirming a Trump nominee at that point could be even more fraught if Joe Biden wins the presidency or if Democrats win the Senate.