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What every Republican senator has said about filling a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year

With less than six weeks until the presidential election, the White House is preparing to nominate a new Supreme Court justice, following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has insisted that the nominee will get a vote.

McConnell acted differently in 2016. Justice Antonin Scalia died more than eight months before that year’s presidential election and McConnell said the Senate should not vote on President Barack Obama’s nominee because voters should be given a say by way of choosing the next president.

McConnell argues that this year’s vacancy, though closer to the election, is different because Republicans control both the Senate and the White House, whereas the government was divided in 2016. It will be up to his fellow Republicans to decide whether they agree.

Confirmation requires a majority, or 50 Senate votes with Vice President Mike Pence acting as tie-breaker. Currently, Republicans hold 53 Senate seats. Thus, if four or more Republicans oppose a vote, and all Democrats also are opposed, a nominee will be blocked.

Here’s how Senate Republicans felt in 2016, and what they’ve said publicly now. Click here for a Google doc with links to the original source for all statements and quotes we found.

Senator

2020

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election outcome is known?

2016

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

REPUBLICAN SENATORS:

Richard Shelby, Alabama

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “We’re in control of the presidency, we’re in control of the Senate, why not? … We were in control of the Senate four years ago, Obama was president, we were in control of the Senate, we certainly weren’t going to do this. You know, there’s a political fight in here too.” Speaking with reporters, Sept. 22, 2020.

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “President Obama is attempting to solidify his liberal agenda by drastically changing the direction of the Court for decades to come. This critical decision should be made after the upcoming presidential election so that the American people have a voice.” March 16, 2016

Lisa Murkowski, Alaska

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

No. “I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. We are 50 some days away from an election.” Sept. 19

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “I had urged the President to refrain from naming a nominee. I believe he should have left that task to the next administration.” March 16, 2016

Dan Sullivan, Alaska

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

TBD. “I think right now the moment is to be respectful and remember her legacy. … There will be plenty of opportunity to talk about next steps after this.” Sept. 18

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “The decision to withhold advancement of Mr. Garland’s nomination isn’t about the individual, it’s about the principle. Alaskans, like all Americans, are in the midst of an important national election. The next Supreme Court justice could fundamentally change the direction of the Court for years to come. Alaskans deserve to have a voice in that direction through their vote, and we will ensure that they have one.” March 16, 2016

Martha McSally, Arizona

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “This U.S. Senate should vote on President Trump’s next nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.” Sept. 19.

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

N/A. was not a senator in 2016.

John Boozman, Arkansas

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

TBD

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “Our country is very split and we are in the midst of a highly contested presidential election. My colleagues and I are committed to giving the American people a voice in the direction the court will take for generations to come.” March 16, 2016

Tom Cotton, Arkansas

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “The Senate will exercise our constitutional duty. We will move forward without delay.” Sept. 20, 2020 on FOX News Sunday.

Note: Cotton is on President Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees.

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “In a few short months, we will have a new president and new senators who can consider the next justice with the full faith of the people. Why would we cut off the national debate on the next justice? Why would we squelch the voice of the populace? Why would we deny the voters a chance to weigh in on the make-up of the Supreme Court?” March 16, 2016

Cory Gardner, Colorado

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “There is no room to dispute the constitutional authority President Trump has to nominate an individual to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. Likewise, the Senate can also choose to exercise its role in confirming a nominee to the nation’s highest court. Historically, in a presidential election year, when a U.S. pPresident and the Senate majority represent the same political party, a new justice has been nominated and confirmed.” Statement reported by KFSM-TV, Ft. Smith, Ark.

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “… the next president of the United States should have the opportunity to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.” March 16, 2016

Marco Rubio, Florida

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “In 2016, President Obama exercised his Constitutional duty and nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, and the Senate exercised its Constitutional obligation and decided not to consent,” Rubio said. “Now, President Trump should exercise his duty to name a nominee. And the Senate should once again exercise its Constitutional obligation and decide whether or not to consent to his choice.” Official statement, Sept. 21, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “I don’t think we should be moving forward on a nominee in the last year of this president’s term. I would say that if this was a Republlcian president.” Rubio also opposed Garland on merit, he said. March 17, 2016

Rick Scott, Florida

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “It would be irresponsible to allow an extended vacancy on the Supreme Court … I believe that President Trump’s nominee should get a vote in the U.S. Senate.” Sept. 18, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

N/A; Was not a senator in 2016.

David Perdue, Georgia

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “I am confident that President Trump will nominate another highly qualified candidate who will strictly uphold the Constitution … Once the president announces a nomination, the United States Senate should begin the process that moves this to a full Senate vote.” Statement, as reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Sept. 20, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “What’s at stake here is the balance of our nation’s highest court and the direction of our country for decades. I remain firm in my decision to exercise my Constitutional authority and withhold consent on any nominee to the Supreme Court submitted by President Obama.” March 16, 2016

Kelly Loeffler, Georgia

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “Our country’s future is at stake & @realDonaldTrump has every right to pick a new justice before the election. I look forward to supporting a strict constructionist who will protect the right to life & safeguard our conservative values.” Sept. 18.

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

N/A; was not a senator in 2016.

Mike Crapo, Idaho

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. Crapo said he would move forward “once we have established a well-qualified candidate who will interpret the law as it is written.”

“As with previous Supreme Court vacancies, I will conduct due diligence and cast any votes with careful consideration according to the principles and values of Idahoans.” Statement as reported by the Idaho State Journal and others Sept. 21, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “As part of its role in this process, the Senate may, at its discretion, withhold consent. The next Supreme Court justice will make decisions that affect every American and shape our nation’s legal landscape for decades. Therefore, the current Supreme Court vacancy should be filled by an individual nominated by the next president of the United States.” March 16, 2016

Jim Risch, Idaho

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “I took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and faithfully discharge the duties of my office, and will weigh nominees to the Supreme Court based on their merits, not on whether there’s an election coming up. Should a nominee come before the full Senate for consideration, I will weigh that individual based on their character, intellect, conservative record, and respect for the U.S. Constitution and vote accordingly.” Statement as reported by the Idaho State Journal and others Sept. 21, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

Unclear. Risch said he opposed Garland for reasons of merit, including concern for gun rights. April 16, 2016

Todd Young, Indiana

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

TBD

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

N/A; was not a senator in 2016.

Mike Braun, Indiana

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “You had a Democratic president and a Republican senate in 2016. Here we’ve got both and I think for our supporters, they’d call it dereliction of duty if we didn’t do it.” Statement posted on Twitter, Sept. 21, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

N/A; was not a senator in 2016.

Chuck Grassley, Iowa

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “I’ve consistently said that taking up and evaluating a nominee in 2020 would be a decision for the current chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Senate majority leader. Both have confirmed their intentions to move forward, so that’s what will happen. Once the hearings are underway, it’s my responsibility to evaluate the nominee on the merits, just as I always have. The Constitution gives the Senate that authority, and the American people’s voices in the most recent election couldn’t be clearer. While there was ambiguity about the American people’s will for the direction of the Supreme Court in 2016 under a divided government, there is no such ambiguity in 2020.” Official statement, Sept. 21, 2020

Note: Grassley references his statements in July that if he were chairman he would not take up a nominee during this election year.

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “A lifetime appointment that could dramatically impact individual freedoms and change the direction of the court for at least a generation is too important to get bogged down in politics. The American people shouldn’t be denied a voice. Do we want a court that interprets the law, or do we want a court that acts as an unelected super legislature? This year is a tremendous opportunity for our country to have a sincere and honest debate about the role of the Supreme Court in our constitutional system of government.” March 16, 2016

Joni Ernst, Iowa

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “Once the president puts forward his nominee for the Supreme Court, I will carry out my duty–as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee–to evaluate the nominee for our nation’s highest court.” Official statement, Sept. 21, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “In the midst of a critical election, the American people deserve to have a say in this important decision that will impact the course of our country for years to come.” March 16, 2016

Pat Roberts, Kansas

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “It is the U.S. Senate’s constitutional duty to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court of the United States, and I support the decision to do so. … The Senate precedent is clear to support filling this vacancy this year.” Official statement, Sept. 22, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “The next justice will have an effect on the courts for decades to come and should not be rushed through by a lame-duck president during an election year. This is not about the nominee, it is about giving the American people and the next president a role in selecting the next Supreme Court justice.” March 16, 2016

Jerry Moran, Kansas

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. A spokesman told the Kansas City Star that Moran “agrees with Leader McConnell’s decision” to move forward with a vote. Sept. 19.

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. Moran initially supported hearings and then reversed his position. April 2, 2016

Mitch McConnell, Kentucky

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “In the last midterm election before Justice Scalia’s death in 2016, Americans elected a Republican Senate majority because we pledged to check and balance the last days of a lame-duck president’s second term. We kept our promise.

… Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary.

President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.” Sept. 18, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “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.” Feb. 13. 2016

“Rarely does a Supreme Court vacancy occur in the final year of a presidential term … Given that we are in the midst of the presidential election process, we believe that the American people should seize the opportunity to weigh in.” Feb. 18, 2016

Rand Paul, Kentucky

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

TBD

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

Unclear. Paul said he opposed any Obama nominee, indicating it was on merit and regardless of whether there was a Senate vote. Feb. 15, 2016

Bill Cassidy, Louisiana

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

TBD

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

Unclear. Cassidy said he opposed Obama’s nominees for ideological reasons. “I don’t support the president’s agenda. I don’t support the president’s nominees.” March 2016

John Kennedy, Louisiana

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

TBD

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

Unclear. Kennedy, a Senate candidate in 2016, said hypothetically he would meet with Garland but reject him on merit. “I think he’s too doctrinaire.” Oct. 2016

Susan Collins, Maine

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

No. “Given the proximity of the presidential election … I do not believe the Senate should vote on the nominee prior to the election. In fairness to the American people, who will either be reelecting 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.” Statement on Twitter, Sept. 19, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

Yes for hearings. Collins met with Garland and said she was “convinced” hearings were needed. April 2016.

Roger Wicker, Mississippi

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “President Trump and Senate Republicans promised to confirm well qualified, conservative judges and justices to the federal courts. We should continue to fulfill this promise and our constitutional duty for all vacancies as long as we are in office. I look forward to consideration of the president’s nominee by the full Senate.” Official statement, Sept. 19, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “The American people should have the opportunity to make their voices heard before filling a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court. In November, the country will get that chance by choosing a new president – a process that is well underway. Until then, our time should be spent addressing the many other legislative matters before us to strengthen our economy, create jobs, and secure our nation.” March 16, 2016

Cindy Hyde-Smith, Mississippi

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “President Trump and the Senate now have the solemn duty to fill that vacancy, a process that should not be delayed. I take this responsibility seriously, and I support the president’s intention to name a nominee as soon as possible.” Official statement, Sept. 20, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

N/A; was not a senator in 2016.

Roy Blunt, Missiouri

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “In the tradition of the country, when the president and the Senate were in agreement – no matter the situation in the country – the [nomination] moved forward,” Blunt said on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sept. 20, 2020.

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “The Senate should not confirm a new Supreme Court justice until we have a new president.” Feb. 13, 2016 tweet.

Josh Hawley, Missouri

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

TBD. “Two months ago, I pledged to vote only for #SCOTUS nominees who understand and acknowledge that Roe was wrongly decided. I stand by that commitment, and I call on my fellow Republican senators to take the same stand.” Statement on Twitter, Sept. 19, 2020

Note: Hawley is on Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees.

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

N/A; was not a senator in 2016.

Steve Daines, Montana

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “The future of our country is at stake – the Senate must move forward with @realDonaldTrump’s nominee and protect our Montana way of life.” Statement on Twitter, Sept. 21, 2020.

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “The replacement of Justice Scalia will have far-reaching impacts on our country for a generation. The American people have already begun voting on who the next president will be and their voice should continue to be reflected in a process that will have lasting implications on our nation. The U.S. Senate should exercise its constitutional powers by not confirming a new Supreme Court justice until the American people elect a new president and have their voices heard.” March 16, 2016

Deb Fischer, Nebraska

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “Since 1796 during election years of unified government between the Senate and the president, there have been 17 successful Supreme Court confirmations. Accordingly, voting on President Trump’s nominee is what the people who elected him in 2016, along with an enhanced Senate majority in both 2016 and 2018, expect us to do. It is also what Democrat leaders have said they would do if they were in our position.

As such, once President Trump makes a nomination, I look forward to engaging in the process and evaluating the nominee on the basis of their qualifications, temperament, understanding of the Constitution, and commitment to the rule of law.” Official statement, Sept. 22, 2020.

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “It is crucial for Nebraskans and all Americans to have a voice in the selection of the next person to serve a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court, and there is precedent to do so. Therefore, I believe this position should not be filled until the election of a new president.” March, 2016

Ben Sasse, Nebraska

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

TBD

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

Unclear. Sasse recorded a video about how an Obama nominee could get his consent. Feb. 18 2016.

He later told students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, “There are two constitutional responsibilities whenever there is a vacancy on the court: The president can nominate and the Senate has the right and responsibility to advise and provide consent. In this case the nominee is not going to be confirmed.” March 31, 2016

Richard Burr, North Carolina

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

TBD

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “The American people deserve a voice in the nomination of the next Supreme Court Justice. This appointment could easily tip the balance of the court in a direction not supported by the American people as evidenced by 2014’s election results giving Republicans both the Senate and House.” March 16, 2016

Thom Tillis, North Carolina

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “Four years ago, a Supreme Court vacancy arose under divided government and a lame-duck president as Americans were choosing his successor. Today, however, President Trump is again facing voters at the ballot box and North Carolinians will ultimately render their judgment on his presidency and how he chooses to fill the vacancy.” Sept. 20, 2020.

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “While President Obama is entitled to nominate an individual to the Supreme Court, the Senate has made it clear it will be exercising its Constitutional authority to withhold consent of the nomination. We are in the middle of a presidential election, and the Senate majority is giving the American people a voice to determine the direction of the Supreme Court.” March 16, 2016

John Hoeven, North Dakota

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “When a vacancy occurs on the Supreme Court in an election year and the presidency and the Senate are controlled by the same party, the precedent has been for the president’s nominee to get a vote on confirmation. That is the case in this election year and we should go forward accordingly.” Statement as reported by the KX Network in North Dakota.

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. He is reported to have said, “There is 80 years of precedent for not nominating and confirming a new justice of the Supreme Court in the final year of a president’s term so that people can have a say in this very important decision.”

Hoeven met with Garland afterward and also opposed him ideologically. “I believe Judge Garland will make decisions counter to North Dakota’s interests and I cannot support his confirmation.” April 21, 2016″

Kevin Cramer, North Dakota

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “I support whichever path forward gives us the best opportunity to confirm a conservative justice while retaining control of the White House and the Senate. … The Republic and its institutions are now at stake, and I did not run for the Senate and put my family through a grueling campaign just to shrink from a moment like this. The president is set to fulfill his constitutional duty, and the Senate should do the same.” Official statement, Sept. 21, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

N/A; was not a senator in 2016.

Rob Portman, Ohio

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “In the more than two dozen vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court during a presidential election year in our nation’s history, the sitting president made a nomination in every single case. Leader McConnell has said that he will hold a vote on any nominee President Trump sends to the Senate, and I intend to fulfill my role as a U.S. senator and judge that nominee based on his or her merits.” Official statement, Sept. 19, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “During a very partisan year and a presidential election year … both for the sake of the court and the integrity of the court and the legitimacy of the candidate, it’s better to have this occur after we’re past this presidential election.” April 14, 2016

Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “The precedent here is clear. In the case of a united government, with voters having elected a Senate and White House of the same party, it is our constitutional obligation to consider a nomination of a Supreme Court justice.” Statement on Twitter, Sept. 21, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “While I will evaluate the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, the next president should be the one to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. … I will oppose this nomination as I firmly believe we must let the people decide the Supreme Court’s future.” March 16, 2016

James Lankford, Oklahoma

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “I look forward to considering and voting on @realDonaldTrump nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy before the end of the year. If the President puts forward a nomination, the Senate has the authority to provide advice and consent and I take this role very seriously.”

“Confirming a Supreme Court nominee during a presidential election year when the White House and Senate majority are of the same party is consistent with precedent.” Statements on Twitter, Sept. 21, 2020.

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “Based on previous historical precedent, I support Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley’s intent to give the American people a say in Justice Scalia’s replacement this year at the ballot box.” March 16, 2016

Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “Four years ago, I noted that my decision to oppose moving forward with the Supreme Court confirmation process for Judge Merrick Garland was related to the circumstances present at the time. … The circumstances surrounding the current vacancy are, in fact, different. While there is a presidential election this year, the White House and the Senate are currently both controlled by the same party. The Senate’s historical practice has been to fill Supreme Court vacancies in these circumstances.” Official statement, Sept. 22, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

“No. “With the U.S. Supreme Court’s balance at stake, and with the presidential election fewer than eight months away, it is wise to give the American people a more direct voice in the selection and confirmation of the next justice.” March 16, 2016

Toomey also opposed Garland on ideological grounds.”

Lindsey Graham, South Carolina

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “… I will support President @realDonaldTrump in any effort to move forward regarding the recent vacancy created by the passing of Justice Ginsburg.” Sept. 19, 2020

This is a change from his past positions, Graham said, because of how Democrats changed the rules around nominations and how they handled the Brett Kavanaugh nomination.

Graham said in 2016, “If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say, ‘Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination.”

In 2018, he said, “if an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait until the next election.”

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “I strongly support giving the American people a voice in choosing the next Supreme Court nominee by electing a new president. I hope all Americans understand how important their vote is when it comes to picking a new Supreme Court justice. The American people should choose wisely this November.” March 16, 2016

Tim Scott, South Carolina

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

TBD. Scott has not answered questions about whether he supports immediately filling the vacancy left by Justice Ginsburg. Sept. 21, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “The next president should fill the open seat on the Supreme Court, not a lame duck. Our nation is in the middle of an election that will replace this president and it has brought people out in every corner of our country in record numbers to have their voice heard. As elected officials, we need to protect the American people’s chance to have their voices heard in the decision on who will be appointed to a lifetime seat on the nation’s high court.” March 16, 2016

John Thune, South Dakota

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “I believe Americans sent a Republican president and a Republican Senate to Washington to ensure we have an impartial judiciary that upholds the Constitution and the rule of law. We will fulfill our obligation to them. As Leader McConnell has said, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate.” Sept. 19, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “The Senate Republican majority was elected to be a check and balance to President Obama. The American people deserve to have their voices heard on the nomination of the next Supreme Court justice, who could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court for a generation. Since the next presidential election is already underway, the next president should make this lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.” March 16, 2016

Mike Rounds, South Dakota

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

TBD

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. Rounds met with Garland and said afterward, “I believe that Justice Scalia’s replacement should be nominated by the next president of the United States.” April 27, 2016

Lamar Alexander, Tennessee

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “No one should be surprised that a Republican Senate majority would vote on a Republican president’s Supreme Court nomination, even during a presidential election year. … Senator McConnell is only doing what Democrat leaders have said they would do if the shoe were on the other foot.” Official statement Sept. 20, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “I believe it is reasonable to give the American people a voice by allowing the next president to fill this lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. Under our Constitution, the president has the right to nominate, but the Senate has the right to decide whether to consent at this point in a presidential election year. Sen. McConnell is only doing what the Senate majority has the right to do and what Senate Democrat leaders have said they would do in similar circumstances.” March 16, 2016

Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “The Senate is going to do its job. Those of us at the Judiciary Committee will do our due diligence. We will prepare properly for the hearing. I look forward to voting for a constitutionalist to go onto the Supreme Court.” Sept. 21, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

N/A; was not a senator in 2016.

John Cornyn, Texas

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “Just as the Senate has always done, we will thoroughly review the qualifications. We should not rush that process. It should be conducted carefully and consistently with how the Senate has previously handled Supreme Court nominations,” Cornyn, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said during a speech on the Senate floor. “The Senate will vote on that nominee sometime this year.” Sept. 21, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “At this critical juncture in our nation’s history, Texans and the American people deserve to have a say in the selection of the next lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.The only way to empower the American people and ensure they have a voice is for the next president to make the nomination to fill this vacancy.” March 16, 2016

Ted Cruz, Texas

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “We are one vote away from losing our fundamental constitutional liberties, and I believe that the president should next week nominate a successor to the court, and I think it is critical that the Senate takes up and confirms that successor before Election Day. This nomination is why Donald Trump was elected. This confirmation is why the voters voted for a Republican majority in the Senate.” Sept. 18, 2020

Note: Cruz is on Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees.”

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “This should be a decision for the people. Let the election decide. If the Democrats want to replace this nominee, they need to win the election.” Feb. 14, 2016

Mike Lee, Utah

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “In 2016, President Obama nominated a replacement for Justice [Antonin] Scalia and my Senate colleagues and I gave our advice and consent on the nominee, consistent with the Constitution, by rejecting him,” refusing to hold a confirmation hearing, Lee said in a statement.
“This year, President Trump will nominate a replacement for Justice Ginsburg and, consistent with the Constitution, we will again give our advice and consent,” he added. “If we like the nominee, we will confirm her. If we don’t, we won’t. It’s that simple.” Sept. 21, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “In light of the contentious presidential election already well underway, my colleagues and I on the Judiciary Committee have already given our advice and consent on this issue: We will not have any hearings or votes on President Obama’s pick.” March 16, 2016

Mitt Romney, Utah

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “I intend to follow the constitution and precedent in considering the president’s nominee. If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, I intend to vote based upon their qualifications.”

Romney also said that “the historical precedent of election year nominations is that the Senate generally does not confirm an opposing party’s nominee but does confirm a nominee of its own.” Sept. 22, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

N/A; was not a senator in 2016.

Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “President Trump and the Republican Senate, both elected by the people, should act to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Ginsburg’s death.”

“I support the choice to move forward with the confirmation process and will consider President Trump’s nominee on her merits.” Sept. 22, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “Before a Supreme Court justice is confirmed to a lifetime position on the bench, West Virginians and the American people should have the ability to weigh in at the ballot box this November. My position does not change with the naming of a nominee today.” March 16, 2016

Ron Johnson, Wisconsin

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. “We had divided government [in 2016]. That’s a valid argument when you have divided government, [saying] ‘Let’s let the American people decide.’ Right now, we don’t have divided government. That makes all the difference in the world.” Sept. 18, 2020

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “Let the American people have a voice in the composition of the Supreme Court. Instead of a lame duck president and Senate nominating and confirming, a new president and Senate – elected by the people only a few months from now – should make that important decision. I can’t think of a fairer or more democratic process.” May 10, 2016

Mike Enzi, Wyoming

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

TBD

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “The Constitution gives the Senate the right to make decisions on a Supreme Court nominee. The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has announced the committee’s intention to exercise its constitutional authority to withhold consent on a nominee submitted by this president.

I believe the American people should decide the direction of the Supreme Court.” Feb. 25, 2016

John Barrasso, Wyoming

Should the Senate vote to replace Ginsburg before the election?

Yes. Barrasso told NBC’s Meet the Press he now supports confirmation because one party controls the White House and the Senate. “Now when you have (one party) in the White House and the Senate, historically the nomination goes forward.” Sept. 20, 2020

Asked about a possible vacancy earlier this year, Barrasso told Politico in May, “We’re going to fill it.”

Should the Senate have held hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland?

No. “A president on his way out of the White House should not make a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. The American people will soon decide our next president. That person should get to choose the next Supreme Court nominee. Give the people a voice, and let them chart the course for the court and the country.” March 16, 2016

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