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

Former Sen. Jeff Flake (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 Trump and GOP Senate leaders are moving on a Supreme Court nominee following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg 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. 

“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 Garland 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. 

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 Collins (R-Maine) — a moderate defending her seat in a state Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton 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 Gardner (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.

Tags Cory Gardner Donald Trump Donald Trump Supreme Court candidates Hillary Clinton Jeff Flake Merrick Garland Ruth Bader Ginsburg Susan Collins
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