Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said there will not be a vote on a Supreme Court nominee if a vacancy opens during the primary process within the last year of President Trump’s term.
Republicans held open the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat in former President Barack Obama’s final year in the White House. Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace Scalia, but Republicans refused to allow a vote, saying the vacancy should be filled by the next president.
“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 Wednesday at the Atlantic Festival in D.C.
Graham did not clarify whether he was referring to the end of Trump’s first term or a possible second term.
Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch in 2017 to fill Scalia’s seat, who was then confirmed by the Senate.
Democrats urged Republicans to hold open retired Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat until after the midterm elections in November, but Republicans have moved ahead to confirm nominee Brett Kavanaugh before voters head to polls.