Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) reportedly said Friday that she would confirm a nominee to the Supreme Court chosen by Donald Trump in November or December even if Joe Biden had won election to the White House.
Iowa PBS senior producer Andrew Batt tweeted that Ernst said during the taping of an appearance on the network's show "Iowa Press" that "she would support Supreme Court justice hearings/votes in Nov-Dec lame duck session in late 2020 after election. Adds she would support even if President Trump & Senate Rs lose November election."
The comment came the same day that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg announced that she has been receiving chemotherapy since May for a recurrence of cancer.
There has been speculation on the part of some conservatives that Justice Clarence Thomas or Justice Samuel Alito might retire to give Trump the chance to replace them.
Ernst's attitude toward the nomination of Supreme Court justices during the final year of a president's term was much different four years ago.
In March 2016, after Justice Antonin Scalia died, Ernst supported the Senate Republican majority's successful effort to block President Barack Obama from filling the open seat on the court.
"In the midst of a critical election, the American people deserve to have a say in this important decision that will impact the course of our country for years to come," Ernst argued. "This is not about any particular nominee; rather this is about giving the American people a voice. Folks are frustrated with Washington, and are fed up with President Obama's failed policies and endless power grabs."
Instead, Ernst said, the Senate should "wait to see what the people say this November" so the "next president will put forward a nominee."
She and her Senate Republican colleagues refused to hold a hearing for Judge Merrick Garland, Obama's nominee.
Ernst's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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