When Susan Collins announced yesterday that RBG’s seat should be filled by the winner of the election, Palmer Report pointed out that while Collins can’t be trusted, this isn’t about whether she can be trusted. Instead, it was an indicator that she expected additional Republican Senators to announce the same, and she was trying to preemptively take credit for it.
Sure enough, Lisa Murkowski released a statement today confirming that when she stated awhile back that any last minute vacancy shouldn’t be filled, she meant it. In response Donald Trump has begun attacking Murkowski on Twitter. This means we have two GOP Senators in opposition. If the number reaches four, the nomination process is dead.
Given his history, there’s a good chance Mitt Romney will also come out in opposition to filling the seat. But Romney likes to play things cautiously. Our guess is that he’s trying to convince some other GOP Senator to be the third, so he can be the fourth and deciding person to stand in opposition.
Even as the behind the scenes process plays out, Democrats and the House and Senate are now openly talking about expanding the Supreme Court next year if that’s what it takes to right this wrong. And of course you can put pressure on vulnerable GOP Senators by (politely) calling their offices and letting them know that you’ll focus heavily on defeating them in their reelection bids if they try to move forward with the nomination process. It’s not a matter of whether you can trust them, it’s a matter of whether you can make them understand that they could lose their careers over this.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report