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Senator Collins’ Statement on Supreme Court Nomination

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins released this statement today following the Senate’s vote to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett:


“When the Senate considers nominees to the United States Supreme Court, it is particularly important that we act fairly and consistently, using the same set of rules, no matter which political party is in power.


“When President Obama nominated Judge Garland eight months before the 2016 presidential election, I met with him and maintained that he was entitled to a hearing. Others argued that the winner of that year’s presidential election should be allowed to choose the nominee, and that is what happened. My views did not prevail, and the standard was established that a nominee to the Court would not be voted on prior to the election in a presidential election year. This year, a vacancy has also occurred, notably much closer to the election.


“Prior to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, I stated that, should a vacancy on the Supreme Court arise, the Senate should follow the precedent set four years ago and not vote on a nominee prior to the presidential election. Since her passing, I have reiterated that in fairness to the American people -- who will either be re-electing the President or selecting a new one -- the decision on the nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy should be made by whoever is elected on November 3rd.


“Because this vote is occurring prior to the election, I will vote against the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. To be clear, my vote does not reflect any conclusion that I have reached about Judge Barrett’s qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court. What I have concentrated on is being fair and consistent, and I do not think it is fair nor consistent to have a Senate confirmation vote prior to the election.”