Maine’s Susan Collins has become the first Republican senator to say she’ll vote against any of President Donald Trump’s picks for the Supreme Court vacancy if the vote occurs before Election Day.
Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski has said she’s against voting on a nominee before the election. But opposition by Collins and Murkowski wouldn’t be enough to stop majority Republicans from pushing a Trump pick through the chamber.
Collins tells reporters she’ll vote “no” because of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to consider a Supreme Court nomination by President Barack Obama when Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016.
That was nine months before that year’s presidential election. McConnell said then that the voters should decide which president should make a nomination. This time, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died 46 days before Election Day.
Collins tells reporters that the Senate should now follow “the same set of rules.”
Collins faces a competitive reelection in November in a state known for independent, moderate voters.