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U.S. Sen. Susan Collins will not be on the Republican train moving ahead to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court.
A vote by the U.S. Senate on Barrett’s confirmation is expected for Monday evening after a 51-48 vote on Sunday that ended the Democrats’ filibuster, as Republicans sought to limit debate on the nomination of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick. A simple majority is needed to confirm Barrett and Republicans should have no problem achieving this despite Collins announcing that she would be voting in opposition to her colleagues and against the nomination.
The Maine Republican and Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski were the only Republicans to vote “no” on the end of the filibuster on Sunday. While Murkowksi has already said she will vote in favor of Barrett’s nomination, confirming her to fill the seat vacated by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Collins said in a statement that she will be voting against the judge as a matter of acting “fairly and consistently.”
The confirmation vote likely won’t begin until around 7:26 p.m. EST Monday night, according to Fox News’ Chad Pergram.
Senate votes to limit debate on Barrett nomination. Means confirmation vote will likely START around 7:26 pm et Monday night. The tally on the procedural vote was 51-48
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 25, 2020
“When the Senate considers nominees to the United States Supreme Court, it is particularly important that we act fairly and consistently, using the same set of rules, no matter which political party is in power,” Collins, who is currently battling for her Senate seat in a heated race, said in a statement.
“Prior to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, I stated that, should a vacancy on the Supreme Court arise, the Senate should follow the precedent set four years ago and not vote on a nominee prior to the presidential election,” Collins continued, in an apparent dig at Republicans and at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for pushing ahead with Barrett’s confirmation.
“Since her passing, I have reiterated that in fairness to the American people — who will either be re-electing the President or selecting a new one — the decision on the nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy should be made by whoever is elected on November 3rd,” Collins said.
“Because this vote is occurring prior to the election, I will vote against the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett,” she added, noting that her decision is not based on Barrett’s abilities to serve on the high court but on being “fair and consistent.”
“To be clear, my vote does not reflect any conclusion that I have reached about Judge Barrett’s qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court. What I have concentrated on is being fair and consistent, and I do not think it is fair nor consistent to have a Senate confirmation vote prior to the election,” Collins concluded.
With Murkowski’s announcement that she will be voting to confirm Barrett, though she opposed moving ahead so close to the election, Collins will likely be the only Republican to side with Democrats against the nominee.
Sen. Murkowski reverses course, announces she will vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett: “The only way to put us back on the path of appropriate consideration of judicial nominees is to evaluate Judge Barrett as we would want to be judged—on the merits of her qualifications.” pic.twitter.com/UlWnz8IFu7
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 24, 2020
“I will be a yes,” Murkowski said in a floor speech on Saturday. “I have no doubt about her intellect. I have no doubt about Judge Barrett’s judicial temperament. I have no doubt about her capability to do the job — and to do it well.”
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