Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee by President Trump in the final months before the national election.
Murkowski told The Hill that voting for a Trump nominee would create a “double standard” given that Republicans declined to approve President Obama’s nominee for the high court, Merrick Garland, in the lead up to the 2016 election.
“When Republicans held off Merrick Garland it was because nine months prior to the election was too close, we needed to let people decide,” she said. “And I agreed to do that. If we now say that months prior to the election is OK when nine months was not, that is a double standard and I don’t believe we should do it,” she added. “So I would not support it.”
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With pro-abortion Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, age 87, battling health problems, there is widespread speculation that her seat on the high court could become vacant soon.
Republicans currently control 53 Senate seats and enjoy a narrow majority. According to The Hill, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnel, R-Ky., has indicated he would try to fill any vacancies on the high court in 2020.
Murkowski, however, has not been a reliable vote in confirming President Trumps nominees for the Supreme Court. In 2018 she broke with fellow Republicans and refused to support Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment.
Murkowski also has a history of breaking with her party on the abortion issue, a stance that has drawn praise from Planned Parenthood. Earlier this year, she voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which aimed to ban abortions after 20 weeks.
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