Hours before the news of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's passing broke Friday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said she would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee before the November election. At the time, the question was hypothetical, but now that it's reality Murkowski is sticking to her word.
On Sunday, the senator — considered a centrist — became the second Republican in the upper chamber after her colleague Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) to oppose confirming Ginsburg's replacement before Nov. 3. Murkwoski explained she didn't support former President Barack Obama's attempt to fill a vacancy in 2016 since it was too close to that year's election, and she's applying the same standard to this situation, which has an even smaller window.
Observers have pointed out that Murkowski didn't specify whether she'd be opposed to voting during the so-called lame-duck session in the weeks after the election, but in her comments before Ginsburg's death, she did suggest "the people" should have a say in an appointment. Collins, for her part, said whoever wins the presidential contest should fill the seat.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) still could have the numbers he needs to push a vote through, but all eyes are on a few other GOP senators, including Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), to see if they'll follow Collins and Murkowski. Tim O'Donnell