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Fate of Supreme Court nominee should hinge on presidential race, says Senator Collins

FILE PHOTO: Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)is seen during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss vaccines and protecting public health during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Washington, U.S., September 9, 2020. Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican U.S. Senator Susan Collins said on Saturday the U.S. Senate should not fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court until after the Nov. 3 presidential election, and the winner of that race should pick the nominee.

Collins, who is in a tough re-election battle in Maine, said in a statement that “in fairness to the American people, who will either be re-electing the president or selecting a new one, the decision on a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the president who is elected on November 3.”

Collins is the first Republican senator to suggest the nomination should be tied to who wins the White House.

Republicans control the Senate with a 53-47 majority.

Senator Lisa Murkowsi, an Alaska Republican, told Alaska Public Radio in an interview shortly before the announcement of Ginsburg’s death that she would not vote to confirm a nominee before the election. Murkowski’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.

About seven Republican incumbents and two Democrats face a chance of losing their seats in November’s election, according to nonpartisan election trackers.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chris Reese and Daniel Wallis

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