Alexander backs vote on Trump Supreme Court nominee: What Democrats 'would do if the shoe were on the other foot'

Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderAuthorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate The Republicans' deep dive into nativism Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain MORE (R-Tenn.) said Sunday that he supports holding a Senate vote on President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE's nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left after Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgOcasio-Cortez says Breyer should retire from Supreme Court Progressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema Juan Williams: Time for Justice Breyer to go MORE died on Friday.

The Tennessee Republican, who is retiring at the end of his current term, released a statement saying that Democrats would have moved forward with a vote “if the shoe were on the other foot.”

“No one should be surprised that a Republican Senate majority would vote on a Republican President’s Supreme Court nomination, even during a presidential election year,” he said. “The Constitution gives senators the power to do it. The voters who elected them expect it.” 


Alexander said the Senate has declined to confirm nominees to the Supreme Court during an election year when the president and Senate majority were from different parties. 

“Senator McConnell is only doing what Democrat leaders have said they would do if the shoe were on the other foot,” Alexander said. 

“I have voted to confirm Justices [John] Roberts, [Samuel] Alito, [Sonia] Sotomayor, [Neil] Gorsuch and [Brett] Kavanaugh based upon their intelligence, character and temperament,” he added. “I will apply the same standard when I consider President Trump’s nomination to replace Justice Ginsburg.”

Alexander’s announcement comes after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCan Manchin answer his predecessor's call on voting rights? Biden at Sen. John Warner's funeral: He 'gave me confidence' Democrats' narrow chance to retain control after 2022 MORE (R-Ky.) has vowed to hold a Senate vote on a Trump nominee for the Supreme Court ahead of the election. Trump is expected to choose a woman to fill Ginsburg’s spot this week.

Calls from McConnell and other Republicans for a confirmation vote come after the majority leader blocked former President Obama’s nominee Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandBiden emphasizes investment in police, communities to combat crime Watch live: Biden, Garland deliver remarks on gun crime prevention Energized Trump probes pose problems for Biden MORE’s confirmation vote in 2016, nine months ahead of the election, out of concerns that it was too close to Election Day. 


The 2020 Election Day is 44 days away, although some voters already have participated in early voting or mail-in voting due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

In a Sunday speech, Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Biden appoints veteran housing, banking regulator as acting FHFA chief Iran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' MORE called on Republican senators to “please follow your conscience” and avoid pushing through a Supreme Court nominee before the election.

The Supreme Court announced on Friday that Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer.