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Biden said that if he wins the Nov. 3 election, he should have the chance to nominate the next Supreme Court justice.
The former vice president rejected the idea of releasing the names of potential nominees, saying that doing so, as Trump did, could improperly influence those candidates’ decisions in their current court roles as well as subject them to “unrelenting political attacks.”
He reiterated his pledge to nominate an African-American woman to the court, which would be a historic first, if he has the opportunity.
Earlier on Sunday, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said she did not support Trump’s plan to move fast on filling the seat, becoming the second of the 53 Republicans in the 100-seat chamber to object publicly following Ginsburg’s death.
Senator Lamar Alexander, another moderate Republican, issued a statement saying he did not object to a vote, CNN reported.
Trump’s plan drew immediate criticism from Democrats, who noted that in 2016 Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a vote on a Democratic appointee on the grounds that the vacancy should be filled by the next president.
“I did not support taking up a nomination eight months before the 2016 election to fill the vacancy created by the passing of Justice Scalia,” Murkowski said in a statement. “We are now even closer to the 2020 election – less than two months out – and I believe the same standard must apply.”
Senator Susan Collins of Maine voiced similar concerns on Saturday. Collins is locked in a tight re-election battle, while Murkowski’s current term extends two more years.