Murkowski: SCOTUS Nom Should Get A Hearing, But Not Necessarily A Vote

February 18, 2016 10:12 a.m.

Since Mitch McConnell declared that President Barack Obama should not even introduce a replacement to fill Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat, some Republicans in the Senate have signaled they are a bit more open to letting the process move forward.

For example, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) told reporters in Alaska Wednesday that whoever Obama appoints should get a hearing, but she said it was up to senators after that to decide whether or not the individual got a vote.

“I do believe that the nominee should get a hearing,” Murkowski said, according to a report in the Alaska Dispatch News. “That doesn’t necessarily mean that that ends up in a vote. The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether or not this individual, based on their record … should be named to the highest court in the land.”

While it is unclear what kind of “vote” Murkowski is referring to (maybe a floor vote or maybe a committee vote), the statement is another example of the broad and sometimes unclear rhetoric coming from Republicans on Capitol Hill as they try to straddle the line between standing behind Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s declaration that Obama should appoint no one and appealing to the position that Obama has a constitutional responsibility to try and fill Scalia’s seat.

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