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Klobuchar: GOP can't use 'raw political power right in middle of an election'

Klobuchar: GOP can't use 'raw political power right in middle of an election'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharGoogle completes Fitbit acquisition Hillicon Valley: Fringe social networks boosted after Capitol attack | Planned protests spark fears of violence in Trump's final days | Election security efforts likely to gain ground in Democrat-controlled Congress US Chamber of Commerce to stop supporting some lawmakers following the Capitol riots MORE (D-Minn.) said Sunday the Republican Party set a precedent in 2016 in blocking President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee ahead of and upcoming election and urged her Republican colleagues to block a vote on any appointee nominated by President TrumpDonald TrumpGiuliani used provisional ballot to vote in 2020 election, same method he disparaged in fighting to overturn results Trump gets lowest job approval rating in final days as president Fox News' DC managing editor Bill Sammon to retire MORE to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader Ginsburg, George Floyd among options for 'Remember the Titans' school's new name Bipartisan anger builds over police failure at Capitol Lindsey Graham praises Merrick Garland as 'sound choice' to serve as attorney general MORE

“State of the Union” host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperOfficials brace for second Trump impeachment trial Sunday shows - Capital locked down ahead of Biden's inauguration Durbin says he won't whip votes for Trump's second impeachment trial MORE questioned Klobuchar on CNN on her comments pushing for a vote on Obama's nominee, Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandBiden's new challenge: Holding Trump accountable Graham says he'll back Biden's CIA pick A Democratic agenda for impossibly hard times MORE, ahead of the 2016 election, asking her if the “Constitution is still clear,” as she said at the time in pushing for a vote.

“A new rule was set by our colleagues,” said Klobuchar, who is on the Senate Judiciary Committee, of the Republicans' decision to block Obama’s nominee in 2016. 

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“They set this precedent, they can’t mess around and use raw political power right in the middle of an election,” she added. 

Tapper also noted that the 2016 Supreme Court vacancy occurred 10 months out from the election, whereas there are now fewer than 50 days ahead of the forthcoming presidential election. 

Klobuchar also said a “major difference” is the timing, noting that people in her state are “voting right now.” 

Asked what Democrats may do to try to stop a vote, Klobuchar said “a number of” GOP senators have said they think the next president should appoint a nominee. 

Tapper pressed Klobuchar, asking her if there is another plan other than trying to appeal to Republicans. 

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“Right now, Ruth Bader Ginsburg just died recently. While Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellWhat would MLK say about Trump and the Republican Party? Biden's minimum wage push faces uphill battle with GOP GOP senators wrestle with purging Trump from party MORE has said what he has said, these people aren't beholden to him,” Klobuchar responded, referring to the Republican Senate majority leader.

She added that different strategies should be considered, but again pointed to a number of Republican senators who are going to have to make a decision for themselves. 

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsBiden's minimum wage push faces uphill battle with GOP GOP senators wrestle with purging Trump from party Impeachment trial tests Trump's grip on Senate GOP MORE (R-Maine.), one of most vulnerable GOP senators facing reelection in the fall, has come out and said the Senate should not vote to confirm Ginsburg’s successor before the election. 

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiBiden's minimum wage push faces uphill battle with GOP GOP senators wrestle with purging Trump from party Democratic lawmaker says 'assassination party' hunted for Pelosi during riot MORE (R-Alaska) also said, ahead of Ginsburg’s death on Friday, that she would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee before the election. 

Republicans could not afford any more than three defections to confirm Trump’s nominee if all 47 members of the Senate Democratic caucus oppose Trump’s pick.