Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), who is up for reelection this year, indicated in a Friday statement that he will support President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, warning that there is a “clear choice on the future of the Supreme Court between the well-qualified and conservative jurist President Trump will nominate … and the liberal activist Joe Biden will nominate and Cal Cunningham will support.”
Tillis, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which considers presidential nominations to the Supreme Court, recognized Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy and offered his condolences to her family in a Saturday statement. He also briefly addressed the vacancy the Supreme Court faced in 2016 following the passing of Antonin Scalia, noting that it occurred under a “divided government and lame-duck president as Americans were choosing his successor.”
“Today, however, President Trump is again facing voters at the ballot box and North Carolinians will ultimately render their judgment on his presidency and how he chooses to fill the vacancy,” he said.
“There is a clear choice on the future of the Supreme Court between the well-qualified and conservative jurist President Trump will nominate and I will support, and the liberal activist Joe Biden will nominate and Cal Cunningham will support, who will legislate radical, left-wing policies from the bench,” he added:
My statement on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's legacy and the Supreme Court vacancy: pic.twitter.com/uIkhSupMOa
— Thom Tillis (@ThomTillis) September 19, 2020
Tillis’s statement comes as he faces a tight reelection bid against Democrat challenger and former state Sen. Cal Cunningham. Saturday’s RealClearPolitics average showed Cunningham leading the incumbent by a 3.6 percent average.
Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), who finds herself in a similar position — facing an uphill reelection battle against Democrat challenger Mark Kelly — stated on Friday that the U.S. Senate should vote on the president’s nominee:
This U.S. Senate should vote on President Trump's next nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.
— Martha McSally (@SenMcSallyAZ) September 19, 2020
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) affirmed on Friday that Trump’s nominee “will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
“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,” Trump said in a message to the GOP on Saturday morning. “We have this obligation, without delay!”:
.@GOP 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2020
It remains unclear where the Senate GOP’s more moderate figures, such as Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Susan Collins (R-ME), currently stand on the issue.