Key GOP senator says she opposes taking up a Supreme Court nomination before Election Day

Senate Impeachment Trial Of President Trump Continues
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) speaks to reporters as she arrives for the continuation of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol on January 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. The next phase of the trial, in which senators will be allowed to ask written questions, will extend into tomorrow. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Sunday that she opposes taking up a Supreme Court nomination prior to Election Day, becoming the second GOP senator this weekend to voice opposition to Senate movement on the matter before the 2020 election.

“For weeks, I have stated that I would not support taking up a potential Supreme Court vacancy this close to the election. Sadly, what was then a hypothetical is now our reality, but my position has not changed,” the Alaska Republican said in a statement.

“I did not support taking up a nomination eight months before the 2016 election to fill the vacancy created by the passing of Justice Scalia. We are now even closer to the 2020 election — less than two months out — and I believe the same standard must apply.”

Murkowski did not address whether she will oppose President Donald Trump’s nominee in a lame-duck session if Joe Biden wins the presidency.

She joins another key GOP senator — Susan Collins of Maine — in her opposition to taking up whomever Trump nominates to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg‘s vacant seat before November 3.

Senate Republicans, who hold the majority in the chamber, only need 51 votes to confirm a new justice once one is formally nominated. Currently, there are 53 GOP senators — meaning they can only lose three Republicans before Vice President Mike Pence could cast a tie-breaking vote.

Should two more Republican senators also say they oppose movement on Trump’s forthcoming nominee, Democrats will have enough support to punt the nomination to the lame-duck session.

This story is breaking and will be updated.