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After Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death earlier today, Senator McConnell vowed to bring the President's nominee to a vote quickly:

The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said late Friday that he would move forward with President Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

"... President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

However, some Republicans have expressed concerns with this plan, particularly after blocking the confirmation of Merrick Garland's confirmation in 2016 on the grounds that it was too close to the election. Have any Republican Senators stated that they will oppose replacing Justice Ginsburg on the Supreme Court either before the election or during the lame-duck session should Trump lose?

Ideally, the goal is to see who is likely to actually vote "no", but since we can't read their minds, the only possibility is to take published statements along with some judgement on how firm and current they are.

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    Collins claimed last month or earlier this month that she would not vote to confirm in October. But who knows whether she will stick to that, and in any case it is still September. – Obie 2.0 Sep 19 at 2:53
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    @Obie there would be no reason to hold the vote in October one way or another. The new Congress doesn't take office until January. The vote would probably be in December. – ThomasThomas Sep 19 at 6:25
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    Apparently Justice Ginsberg's last wish was that she not be replaced by a Trump nominee. reason.com/2020/09/19/justice-ginsburgs-last-words – Paul Johnson Sep 19 at 8:14
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    Romney (who was the only R to vote to impeach), just indicated he will vote on the nominee: twitter.com/SenatorRomney/status/1308403638897958914 – SurpriseDog Sep 22 at 14:31
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CNN At least 4 GOP senators have said they will oppose a vote for a new justice before the election, 9/18/2020

Here is a list of four Republicans senators who have said they will oppose a vote before the election:

  1. Maine Sen. Susan Collins told the New York Times, “I think that’s too close, I really do."

  2. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski in September said, "Fair is fair," and she would not vote to replace RBG before the election."

  3. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham in October 2018 said, "If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump's term, and the primary process has started, we'll wait to the next election. And I've got a pretty good chance of being the Judiciary [Chairman]. Hold the tape."

  4. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said in July he would follow the Biden rule, "I'm just following what was established by the Biden Rule in 1986 and then emphasized by him in 1992... They set the pattern. I didn't set the pattern. But it was very legitimate that you can't have one rule for Democratic presidents and another rule for Republican presidents."

However, Lindsay Graham apparently changed his mind.

NPR McConnell: Trump's Nominee To Replace Ginsburg Will Receive A Vote In The Senate, 9/18/2020

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which would preside over confirmation hearings, said in 2018 that he'd oppose such proceedings if they took place in the final months of Trump's first term.

Then, this spring, Graham said he'd support going ahead, because he considers the circumstances different.

However, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who invariably plays the role of the moderate decider in so many Senate dramas, told The New York Times earlier this month that she opposed a Supreme Court confirmation process in October.

Another important swing vote, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, told Alaska Public Media on Friday, as it was being discussed as a hypothetical scenario, that she wouldn't support confirming a new justice until after the presidential election.


As of September 21, 2020,

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said in a statement Sunday that she opposes holding a Senate confirmation vote on President Trump's nomination to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election. axios, Sep. 20, 2020

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said in a statement Saturday she believes whoever is elected in the 2020 presidential race should pick the nominee to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court seat. axios, Sep. 19, 2020

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    I would be much more likely to believe statements made since Ginsburg became seriously ill. Especially in Graham's case. – Obie 2.0 Sep 19 at 2:54
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    @Obie2.0 indeed. The question is whether any "do oppose," in the present tense. Given that this is politics, what politicians "have said" in the past and under different circumstances is relatively useless in establishing their present position. As an example, consider what McConnell said over four and a half years ago and compare it to what he said this evening. – phoog Sep 19 at 3:08
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    @RickSmith I'm really hoping for "do any oppose", but since we can never know for sure what they think, any statement is valuable, ideally with some judgement about how firm and current it is. – divibisan Sep 19 at 3:30
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    Susan Collins' track record of feeling "concerned" or "disappointed" or otherwise principled, but ultimately voting along party lines anyway, is well documented. – Shadur Sep 19 at 12:17
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    Lindsey changed his mind? What a surprise ... – Azor Ahai -him- Sep 19 at 15:52
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Since Justice Ginsburg's death, there is no Republican senator who has stated they will not vote to confirm a replacement (as of September 21, 2020). Speculation continues for some senators. For instance, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have said in September that they oppose a nomination this close to an election but neither has definitively ruled out voting for a nominee if posed by Trump and pushed by Senate leadership.

However, in the recent past, many senators have said they would not vote for a nominee during an election year, some using promises and strong language. Here's a source with direct quotes and a list of those senators. The statements were made between 2016 and 2018, thus none is current with the death of Justice Ginsburg. Some, including Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham, have stated this week that they will vote for a nominee, which is in direct contrast with these other statements.

  • Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.)
  • Cory Gardner (R-Col.)
  • John Cornyn (R-Tex.)
  • Ted Cruz (R-Tex.)
  • Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
  • Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
  • Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)
  • Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
  • Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)
  • Thom Tillis (R-N.C.)
  • David Perdue (R-Ga.)
  • Tim Scott (R-S.C.)
  • Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.)
  • Pat Toomey (R-Penn.)
  • Richard Burr (R-N.C.)
  • Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)
  • John Hoeven (R-N.D.)
  • Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
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    Could use a date bound for 'recently' – Jontia Sep 21 at 6:25
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    According to the source, the first person on that list (Mitch McConnell) has already changed his opinion on the matter and is now pushing for a quick vote on a new supreme court justice. It would be more useful to compile a list based on what people said since after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Looking at who changed their opinion now that a president of their party is going to nominate might be interesting to form an opinion about them personally, but their current stance on the question is what really matters right now. – Philipp Sep 21 at 7:32
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    I am tempted to upvote this answer because it does correctly list out Republican Senators who have come out against this circumstance, depending on your definition of "recently". But without an update showing these individual's current positions on this specific nomination I don't feel it is complete enough. – Jeff Lambert Sep 21 at 14:17
  • Thank you for feedback, I tried to incorporate the feedback without completely removing/changing this answer. – Joseph Hansen Sep 22 at 6:31

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