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Susan Collins: Whoever Wins The Presidential Election Should Fill SCOTUS Vacancy

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Photo by Greg Nash The Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins listens during a Senate hearing on Sept. 9.

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins says the nomination of a Supreme Court justice to fill the vacancy left by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg should be made by whichever candidate wins the presidential election.

Citing the proximity to Election Day — now just weeks away — she said in a statement Saturday: "In fairness to the American people, who will either be re-electing the President or selecting a new one, the decision on a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the President who is elected on November 3rd."

Collins, who's often a key vote in Senate battles, faces a tough reelection fight in Maine, as recent polling has her trailing challenger Sara Gideon, the Democratic state House speaker. Collins' 2018 vote in favor of President Trump's second Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, has been a notable issue for Maine voters.

Collins' statement follows a pledge Friday night from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that "President Trump's nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate."

Trump has said the GOP should select a new justice "without delay," while his opponent, Democratic nominee Joe Biden, has said the Senate shouldn't take up the vacancy until after voters have expressed their choice in the election.

As NPR's Kelsey Snell noted, Collins told The New York Times earlier this month that she opposes a Supreme Court confirmation process in October, so close to the election.

Another key Senate vote, Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski, has also said she wouldn't support confirming a new justice until after the presidential election.

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