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    Lindsey Graham says he now supports Trump on confirming SCOTUS pick – contradicting comments he made in 2016 AND 2018 that a nominee should not be considered in an election year

    • Graham tweeted Saturday he will support Trump ‘in any effort to move forward regarding the recent vacancy created by the passing of Justice Ginsburg’
    • Graham will oversee the vetting of the nomination as Judiciary chairman 
    • His comment Saturday contradicts his statements in 2018 and 2016 
    • He tweeted: ‘I stand by what I said in Jan. 2019: Harry Reid & Chuck Schumer changed Senate rules to try and stack the courts for Obama’
    • ‘Now it’s coming back to haunt them as I predicted’, Graham added

    Lindsay Graham has said he now supports Donald Trump in confirming a Supreme Court pick – contradicting comments he made in 2016 and 2018 that a nominee should not be considered in an election year. 

    Graham, who will oversee the vetting of the nomination as Judiciary chairman, tweeted Saturday that he will support Trump ‘in any effort to move forward regarding the recent vacancy created by the passing of Justice Ginsburg.’ 

    The president on Saturday urged the GOP-run Senate to consider ‘without delay’ his upcoming nomination to fill the seat vacated by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday. The move comes just six weeks before the election.  

    Graham’s comment contradicts his statements in 2018 and 2016 that a Supreme Court nominee should not be considered in an election year.  

    Lindsay Graham has said he now supports Donald Trump on confirming Supreme Court pick – contradicting comments he made in 2016 and 2018 that a nominee should not be considered in an election year

    Graham, who will oversee the vetting of the nomination as Judiciary chairman, tweeted Saturday that he will support Trump 'in any effort to move forward regarding the recent vacancy created by the passing of Justice Ginsburg'

    Graham, who will oversee the vetting of the nomination as Judiciary chairman, tweeted Saturday that he will support Trump ‘in any effort to move forward regarding the recent vacancy created by the passing of Justice Ginsburg’

    ‘If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump´s term, and the primary process has started, we´ll wait to the next election’, Graham said in 2018 at an event hosted by The Atlantic magazine.

     Reminded that he was speaking on the record, Graham said: ‘Yeah. Hold the tape.’

    Two years earlier, in the midst of the Merrick Garland battle, the South Carolina senator was even more emphatic, urging listeners at a Judiciary Committee meeting to ‘use my words against me’.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to consider then-President Barack Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, months before the 2016 election. 

    Graham said then: ‘If there´s a Republican president (elected) in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said, “Let´s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination”.’

    Despite those comments, Graham said Saturday that he supports moving forward on a new nomination because Democrats had changed the Senate rules to confirm more circuit court judges during Obama´s tenure, and because Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer ‘and his friends in the liberal media conspired to destroy the life of Brett Kavanaugh and hold that Supreme Court seat open.’ 

    Kavananugh was narrowly confirmed to the Supreme Court in 2018 after a bitter, partisan fight in which Graham played a key role to advance Kavanaugh. 

    Graham said Sunday: ‘Well, Merrick Garland was a different situation. You had the president of one party nominating, and you had the Senate in the hands of the other party. A situation where you’ve got them both would be different. I don’t want to speculate, but I think appointing judges is a high priority for me in 2020.’ 

    Graham tweeted: ‘I stand by what I said in Jan. 2019: Harry Reid & Chuck Schumer changed Senate rules to try and stack the courts for Obama. Now it’s coming back to haunt them as I predicted. I’m dead set on confirming @realDonaldTrump’s nominee.’

    He earlier retweeted the president who had said: ‘We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices. We have this obligation, without delay!’

    Graham added: ‘I fully understand where President @realDonaldTrump is coming from.’   

    The president on Saturday urged the GOP-run Senate to consider 'without delay' his upcoming nomination to fill the seat vacated by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday. The move comes just six weeks before the election

    The president on Saturday urged the GOP-run Senate to consider ‘without delay’ his upcoming nomination to fill the seat vacated by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday. The move comes just six weeks before the election

    Graham's comment contradicts his statements in 2018 and 2016 that a Supreme Court nominee should not be considered in an election year

    Graham’s comment contradicts his statements in 2018 and 2016 that a Supreme Court nominee should not be considered in an election year

    In the turbulent Trump era, nothing has motivated the Republican Party’s disparate factions to come home quite like the prospect of a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court.

    ‘This can be an important galvanizing force for President Trump,’ said Leonard Leo, co-chairman of the conservative Federalist Society who has advised the Trump administration on its first two confirmations – for Neil Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.

    The emerging nomination debate that follows the death Friday of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg threatens to reshuffle voter priorities in the closing weeks of an election that had been squarely focused on another set of generational issues: the pandemic, economic devastation and deep civil unrest.

    Trump, backed by Senate Majority Leader McConnell, is pledging to replace the liberal Ginsburg with a conservative jurist, promising on Saturday evening that he will announce his nominee ‘very soon.’

    Plans are in motion for a swift nomination and confirmation. Lest there be any questions about the political implications, Trump is expected to make his choice in a matter of days. Those close to the president are encouraging him to announce his pick before the first presidential debate against Democratic challenger Joe Biden on September 29.

    Biden said the winner of the November 3 election should choose the next justice. 

    His team is skeptical that the Supreme Court clash will fundamentally change the contours of a race Trump was trailing so close to Election Day. Indeed, five states are already voting.

    In fact, Democrats say it could motivate voters to fight harder against Trump and Republicans as the Senate breaks the norms with an unprecedented confirmation at a time when Americans are deciding crucial elections.

    ‘Everything Americans value is at stake,’ Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told fellow Democratic senators on a conference call Saturday, according to a person who was not authorized to publicly discuss the private call and spoke on condition of anonymity.

    In the turbulent Trump era, nothing has motivated the Republican Party's disparate factions to come home quite like the prospect of a lifetime appointment to the nation's highest court

    In the turbulent Trump era, nothing has motivated the Republican Party’s disparate factions to come home quite like the prospect of a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court

    Biden is not planning to release a full list of potential court nominees, according to a top aide, because it would further politicize the process. The aide was not authorized to publicly discuss private deliberations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

    His team suggests that the court fight will heighten the focus on issues that were already at stake in the election: health care, environmental protections, gender equity and abortion.

    One key Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, became the first after Ginsburg´s death to object to the speedy pace, saying ‘in fairness to the American people,’ the Senate should not vote before the election so the candidate elected on Nov. 3 can decide.

    As he left the White House for Saturday evening’s rally in North Carolina, Trump signaled his displeasure with Collins – and a potential warning to other wayward Republicans: ‘I totally disagree with her,’ he said.

    Democratic challengers and outside allies seized on what they called ‘hypocrisy’ of Republicans refusing to consider Obama’s nominee before the 2016 election, unearthing past statements from many of the same senators now pushing ahead for Trump.

    Many Republicans are hopeful the Supreme Court fight will supersede many conservative voters’ concerns about Trump’s inconsistent leadership and divisive rhetoric.

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