(AP) – Republican Sen. Susan Collins said Saturday there should be no vote on a successor to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg until after the election.
Collins said in a statement that she doesn’t object to President Donald Trump making a nomination to fill the vacancy or for the Senate Judiciary to begin vetting the nominee. But she said any vote by the full Senate should come after 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 Nov. 3,” she said.
Collins, who has a reputation as a moderate, represents a key vote.
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.