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Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016

Former Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump excoriates Sasse over leaked audio Biden holds 8-point lead over Trump in Arizona: poll How fast population growth made Arizona a swing state MORE (R-Ariz.) said Saturday that Republicans should “hold the same position” on filling a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year as they did in 2016. 

His comments come as President TrumpDonald John TrumpPolice say man dangling off Trump Tower Chicago demanding to speak with Trump Fauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Biden: Trump 'continues to lie to us' about coronavirus MORE and GOP Senate leaders are moving on a Supreme Court nominee following the death of Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgFauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Biden owes us an answer on court-packing MORE Friday evening.

"In 2016, nine months before an election, we Republicans said that the next president should fill a Supreme Court vacancy,” Flake, who retired in 2019, tweeted Saturday. 

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“Today, six weeks before an election, we should hold the same position," he continued. "Preserving the institution of the Senate should be paramount to any political gain.”

In 2016 the Senate GOP blocked a vote for then-President Obama’s nominee Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Biden keeps both sides guessing on court packing Biden town hall questioner worked as speechwriter in Obama administration: report MORE because it was during an election year. Those same leaders are now calling for a vote on a Supreme Court nominee less than two months before the election. 

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Flake, a frequent critic of Trump, is one of a few Republicans who have come out as opposing a vote on a Supreme Court nominee. 

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Collins PAC donated hundreds of dollars to two candidates who support QAnon Republicans increasingly seek distance from Trump MORE (R-Maine) — a moderate defending her seat in a state Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton Rally crowd chants 'lock him up' as Trump calls Biden family 'a criminal enterprise' Undecided voters in Arizona wary of Trump, crave stability Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw MORE won in 2016 — said Saturday that she would not support a vote on a nominee this year, which Trump pointed out during a campaign rally Saturday evening. 

Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Democratic super PAC pulls remaining ads from Colorado Senate race Exclusive: Poll shows Affordable Care Act challenge a liability for McConnell at home MORE (R-Colo.), who is up for reelection and behind in the polls in another state Clinton won, skirted the issue of timing during a town hall Saturday.