Despite Senate Republicans uniting behind Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the next Supreme Court justice, the only two GOP senators who may vote against her confirmation will be two women.
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Maine Sen. Susan Collins previously declared they would oppose any nomination by President Trump to fill the seat once occupied by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg if the confirmation vote happened before the election. Murkowski has since indicated she would at least be willing to meet with Barrett.
“For weeks I have stated that I do not support taking up a potential Supreme Court vacancy this close to an election,” Collins said in her statement after Barrett’s nomination was announced. “But today the President exercised his constitutional authority to nominate an individual to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I welcome the opportunity to meet with the Supreme Court nominee, just as I did in 2016.”
“In the interest of both fairness to the American people and consistency in following the practice established four years ago, there should not be a vote on a Supreme Court nominee prior to the election,” Collins continued. “As I stated even before Justice Ginsburg’s death, should a nominee for the Supreme Court be brought to the Senate floor before the election, I will vote no.”
Supporters of Collins will argue that it is not about the nominee herself but about the process.
While neither senator’s votes are necessary for Barrett’s confirmation, withholding support for a woman who could potentially be on the court for the rest of their lives could be a reputational gamble.
There are presently nine Republican female senators, compared to 17 female Democratic senators in the upper chamber. If Barrett is confirmed to the high court, she will be one of three female justices but the only one of the three nominated by a Republican president.
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, appointed by President Ronald Reagan, was the first woman nominated to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, Barrett will be the second Republican nominee to sit on the court.
Murkowski voted against the confirmations of Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, but Collins voted in favor of the confirmations for both justices, who were appointed by President Barack Obama.
Nevertheless, Collins is in a difficult reelection campaign and spent a lot of political capital to support Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. While voting against Barrett could hurt her with the base of the party in Maine, independents and centrists in her state support waiting to fill the seat until after the election.
Tags: News, Amy Coney Barrett, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Supreme Court, Nominations, Campaigns, 2020 Elections, Campaign 2020
Original Author: Kerry Picket
Original Location: Two Republican women could be only GOP votes against Amy Coney Barrett