Biden says nation should let the next president fill Ginsburg’s seat

Here is a list of the Republican senators that CNN is watching and where they stand on filling the vacant Supreme Court seat during an election year. 

Remember: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said there will be a vote on President Trump’s nominee.

There are currently 53 GOP senators — meaning McConnell can only lose three Republicans before Vice President Mike Pence could cast a tie-breaking vote. Should two more Republican senators say they oppose movement on Trump’s forthcoming nominee, Democrats will have enough support to punt the nomination to the lame-duck session of Congress. 

Sen. Susan Collins

Collins, who is facing a tough re-election battle in Maine, issued a statement Saturday saying that voting on a nominee to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat should wait until after the election. But, her office has not responded to CNN’s questions about whether she would vote against a Trump nominee either before the election or in the lame-duck session.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Murkowski, of Alaska, issued a statement Sunday saying she opposes taking up a Supreme Court nomination prior to Election Day.

However, she did not address whether she would oppose a Trump nominee in a lame duck session if Joe Biden wins. Murkowski’s office would not comment to CNN on this question on Sunday. 

Sen. Cory Gardner

Gardner, facing a tough re-election in Colorado, did not answer Saturday whether he would stand by his 2016 words that the “next President ought to choose” the Supreme Court nominee.

At a local town hall, Gardner responded without referring to his 2016 statement, and focused on Ginsburg’s death.

“We need to make sure that we are giving time for personal reflection on this loss of an American icon,” Gardner said, “there is time for debate, there is time for politics, but the time for now is to pray for the family.”

Sen. Lamar Alexander

Alexander, of Tennessee, who is set to retire this year, has yet to comment whether he would support the Supreme Court vacancy being filled before the presidential election. 

Sen. Chuck Grassley

Grassley, of Iowa, is a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is in charge of the process for filling a Supreme Court vacancy. 

In July, Grassley told CNN that he could not answer the question as he is no longer chairman.

“[M]y position is if I were chairman of the committee, I couldn’t move forward with it but you’d have to ask Graham what he’s going to do. I can’t answer that question,” he said.

On Sunday, Grassley’s office had no comment if that’s still his position.

Sen. Mitt Romney

Romney, of Utah, has, at times, been at odds with the President Trump and was the lone Republican to vote to remove him from office. He has yet to comment on the process of filling the Supreme Court vacancy.