Another Republican senator has broken ranks with her party, announcing that she does not support filling Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s vacant Supreme Court seat before election day.
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski knocked one more vote off of the GOP’s 53-seat Senate majority, which it would need in order to confirm whomever Donald Trump decides to nominate to the bench in the coming days.
“For weeks, I have stated that I would not support taking up a potential Supreme Court vacancy this close to the election,” Murkowski said in a press statement, per CNBC. “Sadly, what was then a hypothetical is now our reality, but my position has not changed.”
“I did not support taking up a nomination eight months before the 2016 election to fill the vacancy created by the passing of Justice Scalia,” she continued. “We are now even closer to the 2020 election—less than two months out—and I believe the same standard must apply.”
Murkowski joins Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, The New York Times reports, who on Saturday said that she would not support the President’s impending nominee, reasoning that the vacancy left by Ginsburg’s death should be decided by whoever wins the presidential election on Nov. 3.
While encouraging for those of us who’d rather not have to live with the political ramifications of yet another Trump-nominated Supreme Court judge weighing in on our legal futures, the GOP still has the 51 votes it would need to confirm someone—assuming that every Republican, minus Murkowski and Collins, votes for them, of course. At least two more Republican senators would need to break rank in order to block the confirmation, the Times explains.
Speaking of that nominee, it seems likely that Trump will nominate a woman to fill the late Ginsburg’s seat. He said as much on Saturday, according to ABC News: “If somebody were to ask me now, I would say that a woman would be in first place, yes.”
We don’t know who that mysterious woman will be, but the three female judges whom the Associated Press says the President is strongly considering all seem truly heinous.
His top choice, according to White House aides and advisors, is U.S. Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a devout Catholic who has gone on record saying that “life begins at conception” and seems likely to disregard any Supreme Court precedent, like, say, Roe v. Wade, if she felt that it went against her best understanding of the Constitution, per Politico.
The other two rumored top picks seem just as awful: Barbara Lagoa, who would be the second Latinx Supreme Court Justice after Sonia Sotomayor, is a member of the Federalist Society and has a “strongly conservative track record,” according to the New York Daily News, and NPR says that Allison Jones Rushing is an evangelical fave.