President Trump on Monday said the Senate should vote to confirm his forthcoming Supreme Court nominee before Election Day, sending his clearest signal yet on the timing of a possible vote.
“I think the vote, the final vote, should be taken, frankly, before the election. We have plenty of time for that,” Trump said in an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
“Yeah, I think it should go very quickly. We have a lot of time,” he continued. “Especially if the people we’re talking about, most of them are young and they’ve gone through the process pretty recently.”
The president had previously said a vote before the election “would be very good,” but that no final decision had been made. His comments on Monday will put pressure on Senate Republicans to move to confirm a nominee before Nov. 3 to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“Whether it’s before or after – I mean, after we have a lot of time. But I think we should do it before,” Trump said.
The president added that he believes it would benefit the Republican Party to vote on the nominee sooner and that it would be good for the country to “get it over with.”
Pressed on whether an expedited vote could hurt Republicans running for reelection, Trump said he felt it would help Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo), one of the most vulnerable GOP senators up for reelection.
But he sharply criticized Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who is facing her own difficult reelection campaign in Maine, and also argued Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) will have a hard time getting reelected in 2022. He has previously pledged to campaign against her, though she previously won reelection on the strength of a write-in campaign.
Both Collins and Murkowski have said they do not support holding a vote on a nominee before Election Day, citing the standard Republicans set in 2016 when the refused to give a hearing to President Obama nominee Merrick Garland following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Republicans can afford three senators to oppose a vote before Election Day and still confirm Trump’s eventual nominee, assuming all Democrats in the Upper Chamber are against a vote.
Earlier in the same interview, Trump said he will announce his nominee on Friday or Saturday.
Federal appellate judges Amy Coney Barrett, Barbara Lagoa and Allison Rushing are considered the favorites.