BOSTON (CBS/AP) – “In fairness to the American people who will either be re-electing the President or selecting a new one, the decision on a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the President who is elected on November 3rd,” Maine’s Republican Senator Susan Collins tweeted Saturday afternoon, a day after the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“President Trump has the constitutional authority to make a nomination to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, and I would have no objection to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s beginning the process of reviewing his nominee’s credentials,” Collins wrote in her statement on Twitter. ” Given the proximity of the presidential election, however, I do not believe that the Senate should vote on the nominee prior to the election.”
My statement on the Supreme Court vacancy: pic.twitter.com/jvYyDN5gG4
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) September 19, 2020
Earlier on Saturday, fellow Republican and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker held a similar stance, tweeting, “I urge President Trump and the U.S. Senate to allow the American people to cast their ballots for President before a new justice is nominated or confirmed.”
Collins, who has a reputation as a moderate, represents a key vote.
Earlier Saturday, President Trump tweeted, “We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of the United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!”
It would take only a handful of GOP senators to block Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said he intends to call for a speedy vote on Trump’s nominee.
Collins, who’s in a tough reelection battle as she seeks a fifth term in office, angered many in Maine with her vote for Trump’s nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. And she was already getting pressure from various groups to delay the nomination of Ginsburg’s replacement.
In her statement, Collins talked about acting “fairly and consistently — no matter which party is in power.” In 2016, McConnell blocked then-President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Judge Merrick Garland in an election year.
Both independent Sen. Angus King and Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine agree there should be no successor until after the election. U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, didn’t take a position in a statement issued Saturday.
Ginsburg died Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press’s David Shepard contributed to this report.)