President Trump and fellow Republicans in the Senate faced objections Saturday from within the GOP courtesy of some governors against racing to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s vacancy on the Supreme Court.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker echoed Vermont Gov. Phil Scott by asking fellow Republicans to wait until the presidential race is resolved before considering Ms. Ginsburg’s replacement.
“The passing of Justice Ginsburg is not only a loss for the court but for the entire nation, and 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,” Mr. Baker said in a statement. “The Supreme Court is too important to rush and must be removed from partisan political infighting.”
Mr. Scott argued similarly the night before, saying lawmakers must “follow precedent, as well as her dying wishes, and delay the appointment process until after Inauguration Day” in January.
Ms. Ginsburg died Friday at the age of 87, creating a vacancy on the Supreme Court which President Trump said he will seek to fill “without delay” with possibly only months remaining in office.
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” Ginsburg told her granddaughter days before her death, a close friend of the jurist reported Friday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said lawmakers will hold a vote to confirm whomever Mr. Trump names to replace Ms. Ginsburg despite his presidency maybe ending soon.
In 2016, Mr. McConnell notably blocked the Senate from considering a Supreme Court nominee put forth by then-President Barack Obama, a Democrat, because his presidency was ending 11 months later.
Ms. Ginsburg, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, died 46 days before Election Day when voters decide whether or not to give Mr. Trump a second term in the White House.
Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden, Mr. Obama’s former vice president, is running against Mr. Trump and would take office in January if he defeats Mr. Trump in the election.
Several top Republicans quickly said they support Mr. Trump moving swiftly to replace Ms. Ginsburg, including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, among others.
As of Saturday afternoon, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine seemed to be the sole Republican on her side of Capitol Hill so far to suggest putting the process on hold under the White House race ends.
“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,” Ms. Collins said in a statement.
Mr. Baker and Mr. Scott previously made headlines together last year when they similarly broke ranks with Republicans to support the impeachment inquiry of Mr. Trump taking place at the time.