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Graham: GOP has votes to confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHillicon Valley: Threatening emails raise election concerns | Quibi folds after raising nearly B | Trump signs law making it a crime to hack voting systems Trump signs legislation making hacking voting systems a federal crime Jaime Harrison on Lindsey Graham postponing debate: 'He's on the verge of getting that one-way ticket back home' MORE (R-S.C.) predicted on Monday that Republicans will confirm President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE's forthcoming nominee to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgDemocrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Mitt Romney did not vote for Trump in 2020 election The Senate should evoke RBG in its confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett MORE's Supreme Court seat before the November elections.

"I've seen this move before. It's not going to work. ... We've got the votes to confirm Justice Ginsburg's replacement before the election. We're going to move forward in the committee. We're going to report the nomination out of the committee to the floor of the United States Senate so we can vote before the election," Graham told Fox News. 

"We're going to have a process that you will be proud of. The nominee is going to be supported by every Republican in the Judiciary Committee. And we've got the votes to confirm the ... justice on the floor of the Senate before the election, and that's what is coming," he added. 

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Graham's prediction comes as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits Trump casts doubt on hopes for quick stimulus deal after aides expressed optimism Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid MORE (R-Ky.) hasn't yet tipped his hand on if he will push for a vote before the Nov. 3 election or wait until the end-of-the-year lame-duck session, a strategy that could have risks for Republicans if Trump loses. 

McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor on Monday, only vowed that Trump's forthcoming nominee, whom the president is expected to name later this week, will get a vote on the Senate floor this year. 

"The Senate will vote on this nomination this year," McConnell said. 

If Democrats want to prevent McConnell from filling the seat, they will need to win over four GOP senators to vote against proceeding to the nomination. Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneGOP coronavirus bill blocked as deal remains elusive Clyburn predicts action on coronavirus relief after elections GOP to Trump: Focus on policy MORE (R-S.D.), McConnell's No. 2, also stopped short of predicting Republicans would have at least 50 of their 53 members, noting the issue would be discussed at a closed-door caucus lunch on Tuesday. 

So far, two GOP senators — Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsDemocrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid Senate is leaning to the Democrats, big time, with a wave MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiDemocrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Senate to vote Monday to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court Senate GOP eyes Oct. 26 for confirming Barrett to Supreme Court MORE (Alaska) — have said they don't think the Senate should take up the nomination before the elections.

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But McConnell appears to have locked down other key swing votes, including institutionalists such as Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Two weeks out, Trump attempts to rally the base McConnell aims for unity amid growing divisions with Trump Overnight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas MORE (R-Tenn.) and vulnerable GOP incumbents such as Sens. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstThe Hill's Campaign Report: Obama to hit the campaign trail l Biden's eye-popping cash advantage l New battleground polls favor Biden Poll finds Ernst with 1-point lead in Iowa Senate is leaning to the Democrats, big time, with a wave MORE (R-Iowa) and Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerDemocrats seek to block appeal of court ruling ousting Pendley, BLM land plans Senate is leaning to the Democrats, big time, with a wave Cunningham, Tillis locked in tight race in North Carolina: poll MORE (R-Colo.), who both signaled support on Monday for filling a Supreme Court vacancy this year. 

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyMitt Romney did not vote for Trump in 2020 election Biden: Johnson should be 'ashamed' for suggesting family profited from their name The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by the Walton Family Foundation — Pope Francis expresses support for same-sex unions MORE (R-Utah) is viewed as the last likely swing vote on the issue. Even if he came out against taking up the nomination before the election, that would still put the Senate at a 50-50 tie that Vice President Pence could break. 

Graham's position on the Supreme Court vacancy has come under scrutiny after a 2016 video went viral over the weekend of the GOP senator saying that a Supreme Court seat should not be filled during an election year. 

"I want you to use my words against me. If there's a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let's let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination," he said four years ago when arguing against then-President Obama's nomination of Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandDemocrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination The Senate should evoke RBG in its confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein MORE.

But Graham has argued that the contentious confirmation process in 2018 surrounding Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughSusan Collins and the American legacy The Senate should evoke RBG in its confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court's Pennsylvania mail ballot ruling tees up test for Barrett MORE, who faced allegations of sexual assault, changed his view of the court fight. 

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Democrats on the Judiciary Committee sent Graham a letter over the weekend urging him to delay action on a Supreme Court nominee until a new Senate is sworn in next year.

Graham, however, rejected that request in a letter on Monday responding to committee Democrats, adding that he would "proceed expeditiously."

“I ... think it is important that we proceed expeditiously to process any nomination made by President Trump to fill this vacancy. I am certain if the shoe were on the other foot, you would do the same,” Graham wrote in a letter to Democrats.