Sen. Lindsey Graham says Republicans have the votes to confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee

Sarah Elbeshbishi, USA TODAY
·2 mins read

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Monday that Senate Republicans have the votes to confirm President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to fill the seat left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday night.

“We’ve got the votes to confirm Justice Ginsburg’s replacement before the election. We’re going to move forward in the committee,” Graham said on FOX News. “We’re going to move the nomination out of the committee to the floor of the United States Senate so that we can vote before the election. That’s the Constitutional process.”

Graham is the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is the committee that will vet and examine Trump’s eventual court nominee before the Senate holds a floor vote.

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The South Carolina Senator sent a letter to the Democrats sitting on the Judiciary Committee, saying he thinks “it is important that we proceed expeditiously to process any nomination made by President Trump to fill this vacancy. I am certain if the shoe were on the other foot, you would do the same.”

Graham previously opposed President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland when Justice Anthony Scalia died in 2016.

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His support to fill the Supreme Court vacancy less than two month from the November election is a change from his comments from both 2016 and 2018.

During the Judiciary Committee hearing about Garland, Graham told listeners to “use my words against me. 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.’”

Two years later, the senator echoed those words saying, while acknowledging he was on the record, saying: “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.”

More: Then and now: What McConnell, others said about Merrick Garland in 2016 vs. after Ginsburg's death

In both his interview Monday night on Fox News and in his letter to Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Graham attributed his change of heart to the treatment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process.

“After Kavanaugh, everything changed with me. You’re not going to intimidate me,” Graham told FOX News host Sean Hannity.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Supreme Court: Graham says GOP has votes to confirm by Election Day