Sen. Sullivan supports Trump naming a nominee to the Supreme Court

Sen. Dan Sullivan says he supports the president naming a nominee to a vacant U.S. Supreme Court seat.
Sen. Dan Sullivan says he supports the president naming a nominee to a vacant U.S. Supreme Court seat.(KTUU)
Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 12:20 PM AKDT
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JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska’s junior senator released a statement Tuesday morning supporting President Donald Trump’s plan to name a nominee to a vacant U.S. Supreme Court seat.

“President Trump is well within his constitutional authority to nominate an individual for the Supreme Court vacancy, and the Senate will undertake its advice and consent responsibilities on confirmation, as authorized by the Constitution,” said Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, in an emailed statement.

Sullivan’s statement did not mention the controversial question of whether he supported a confirmation vote to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before Election Day.

In 2016, Sullivan agreed with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, to withhold a confirmation vote for Judge Merrick Garland who was nominated to the Supreme Court by then-President Barack Obama after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

“The decision to withhold advancement of Mr. Garland’s nomination isn’t about the individual, it’s about the principle,” Sullivan said in a statement in March 2016. “Alaskans, like all Americans, are in the midst of an important national election. The next Supreme Court justice could fundamentally change the direction of the Court for years to come. Alaskans deserve to have a voice in that direction through their vote, and we will ensure that they have one.”

Sullivan suggested on Tuesday that the two cases are different.

“The historical precedent and principle of an election year nomination to the Supreme Court, dating back to the founding of our republic, is that the Senate has generally confirmed a President’s nominee from its own party and not confirmed one from the opposing party,” Sullivan said by email.

Sullivan said he would scrutinize a Supreme Court nominee’s positions on Alaska, the Second Amendment and the rights of Alaska Natives.

Dr. Al Gross, an independent running as the Democratic nominee against Sullivan, released a statement on Saturday, calling for the confirmation vote to be delayed till after the election. “Dan Sullivan, we know it’s only fair to let the voters cast their ballots before we decide,” he said.

Alaska’s senior Sen. Lisa Murkowski released a statement over the weekend, opposing a Supreme Court confirmation vote before Election Day. Murkowski’s statement did not address how she would vote on Trump’s yet-to-be-announced nominee.

Copyright 2020 KTUU. All rights reserved.

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