Where Sens. Kelly Loeffler, Lindsey Graham, stand on Supreme Court nomination

From left: Lindsey Graham and Kelly Loeffler
From left: Lindsey Graham and Kelly Loeffler(WRDW)
Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 7:27 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. - Although Democratic senators and some Republican senators favor holding off on approving a successor to late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, that’s not the case with GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia.

The day after the news of Ginsburg’s death broke on Friday, Graham tweeted he is “dead set” on confirming whoever President Donald Trump nominates for the seat. And as the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the group of senators traditionally responsible for questioning nominees and referring them to the full Senate, Graham has a lot of influence in the process.

Loeffler says it’s important we have a full Supreme Court.

Loeffler said: “We have to stand strong with the Constitution to make sure that we’re following what our founding fathers intended and that’s why I support strict constructionist and originalist who will support the constitution when they decide these important cases before our country.”

Trump says he plans to nominate a female successor this week.

Federal Appellate court judge Amy Coney Barrett has emerged as one of the front-runners.

Other names include 38-year old judge Allison Rushing, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Virginia.

Also, Judge Barbara Lagoa, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Georgia. Lagoa is also the first Hispanic woman to be appointed as a justice on the Supreme Court of Florida.

So far, Republican Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski have said they would wait on nominated a justice until after the presidential election.

Looking back

Graham’s opponents say his support for the president now is evidence he is going back on his word.

On March 10, 2016, Graham said, “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, and you could use my words against me and you’d be absolutely right. We’re setting a precedent here today.”

Graham echoed a similar sentiment two years later at an event in Washington, D.C.

“If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term and the primary process has started, we’ll wait until the next election,” Graham said in 2018. When reminded by the moderator that he is on the record, Graham replied, “Yeah. Hold the tape.”

This year, when asked by Gray TV’s Chief Political Analyst Greta Van Susteren about what he would do if there were a vacancy on the court, Graham said the circumstances have changed between now and when Republicans blocked President Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Scalia from getting a hearing in 2016.

“Well, Merrick Garland was a different situation. You had the president of one party nominating and you had the Senate in the hands of the other party. A situation where you’ve got them both would be different. I don’t want to speculate, but I think appointing judges is a high priority for me in 2020,” he said.

This argument along with Graham blaming Democrats for, “the two biggest changes regarding the Senate and judicial confirmations that have occurred in the last decade,” is why he is supporting the President moving forward with a nomination during the last stretch of an election.

Graham tweeted that the changes he is referring to include Democrats in the Senate making it easier to confirm all judges except for Supreme Court nominees,

And, Democratic senators' attacks on Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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