Ernst: “Will carry out my duty” if president nominates new Supreme Court justice

Iowa's two Republican senators weighed in on the debate over the potential confirmation of a new Supreme Court justice on Monday.
Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 5:11 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (KCRG) - One of Iowa’s senators issued a statement on Monday showing intent to move forward with a Supreme Court appointment if President Donald Trump picks a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Sen. Joni Ernst, who was been on of Iowa’s senators since 2014, said that she would “carry out my duty” if Trump put a name forward for consideration. It was her first public comment on her intent since the death of Ginsburg on Friday, though it echoes previous remarks she had made to Iowa PBS in July with “Iowa Press” which indicated she would be comfortable with confirming a justice during an election year.

“We have much to consider over the coming days. The Supreme Court plays a fundamental role in the defense of our Constitution and in the protection of our rights and liberties. Once the president puts forward his nominee for the Supreme Court, I will carry out my duty—as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee—to evaluate the nominee for our nation’s highest court," the statement from Ernst read, in full.

Trump indicated on Monday that he would announce his nominee by Friday or Saturday.

Ernst joined other Republican senators in 2016 in preventing consideration of then-President Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, saying voters should have a voice in the process. After Trump’s victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, the Senate confirmed Neil Gorsuch as an associate justice in 2017.

Sen. Chuck Grassley has yet to publicly comment on the potential for a nominee to the court to replace Ginsburg. He, too, commented on the notion in July, saying he would not recommend that the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee move forward with hearings on a nominee, according to the Des Moines Register.

Grassley, as chair of that committee in 2016, was instrumental in preventing hearings on Obama’s pick to replace Scalia.

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