Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said late Monday that the GOP has the votes to fill the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat ahead of the presidential election.
“We’ve got the votes to confirm Justice Ginsburg’s replacement before the election,” Graham told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in an interview Monday. Graham said that the committee he oversees would “move forward” and report the nomination to the Senate floor “so we can vote before the election.”
The comments come after President Donald Trump said during a Fox News interview early Tuesday that he would announce a nominee to fill the late Supreme Court Justice’s seat on Saturday. Over the weekend, Trump committed to nominating a woman and has since then suggested that GOP senators who oppose him on a SCOTUS nomination will pay a steep political price. Among them, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) and Maine Senator Susan Collins (R).
As talk about Trump’s potential picks get underway, Graham accused his Democratic colleagues of preparing to smear Trump’s eventual nominee to keep the seat vacant until after the election.
“They will destroy anybody’s life to keep the seats open,” Graham said. “They tried to destroy Brett Kavanaugh so they can fill the seat. They were dumb enough to say that. I’ve seen this movie before.”
The comments come after Graham on Saturday reversed former remarks he made condemning the confirmation of Supreme Court justices during an election year.
“It’s not going to work. It didn’t work with Kavanaugh,” Graham said.
“They are not going to intimidate me, Mitch McConnell, or anybody else,” Graham added, before making a plug to viewers to help him “fight back” by donating to his campaign.
Graham’s Democratic opponent, Jaime Harrison, had a record-breaking fundraising week before the death of Ginsburg, raking in $2 million in the two days after a Quinnipiac poll showed the race tied at 48 percent.
“We’re going to have a process that you’ll be proud of,” Graham promised. “The nominee will be supported by every Republican in the Judiciary Committee and we have the votes to confirm the justice on the floor of the senate before the election. And that’s what’s coming.”