Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) announced that she will vote against Judge Amy Coney Barrett to become a justice on the Supreme Court.
But her vote likely won’t matter, as Republicans hold a 53-47 edge over Democrats and no other GOP senator is expected to oppose Barrett’s nomination.
Collins said in a statement that she will vote against the judge in an effort to act “fairly and consistently.”
“When the Senate considers nominees to the United States Supreme Court, it is particularly important that we act fairly and consistently, using the same set of rules, no matter which political party is in power,” Collins said.
“Prior to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, I stated that, should a vacancy on the Supreme Court arise, the Senate should follow the precedent set four years ago and not vote on a nominee prior to the presidential election,” Collins added.
When Justice Antonin Scalia died in 2016 and then-President Barack Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland for the seat, Republicans, who controlled the Senate, refused to take up the nomination.
While the election was 236 days away, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said then that, “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”
Said Collins: “Since her passing, I have reiterated that in fairness to the American people—who will either be re-electing the President or selecting a new one—the decision on the nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy should be made by whoever is elected on November 3rd.”
“Because this vote is occurring prior to the election, I will vote against the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett,” she added. “To be clear, my vote does not reflect any conclusion that I have reached about Judge Barrett’s qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court. What I have concentrated on is being fair and consistent, and I do not think it is fair nor consistent to have a Senate confirmation vote prior to the election,” Collins concluded.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) joined Collins as the only Republicans to vote “no” on a motion to end the filibuster on Sunday, which passed by a 51-48 vote. But Murkowski said she will vote to send Barrett to the high court.
“I will be a yes,” Murkowski said in a floor speech on Saturday. “I have no doubt about her intellect. I have no doubt about Judge Barrett’s judicial temperament. I have no doubt about her capability to do the job — and to do it well.”
“Sen. Murkowski reverses course, announces she will vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett: ‘The only way to put us back on the path of appropriate consideration of judicial nominees is to evaluate Judge Barrett as we would want to be judged—on the merits of her qualifications,’” NBC News reported.
The confirmation vote likely will begin until around 7:26 p.m. EST on Monday night, according to Fox News’ Chad Pergram.
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