Where Senators Stand on Replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Within hours of RBG's death, senators began speaking out about whether they'll vote to fill her vacancy during an election year.

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(Image credit: Tom Brenner)

On September 18, 2020, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (opens in new tab), the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, died from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. The 87-year-old justice was a trailblazer for women everywhere, and her death has left Americans unable to comprehend what the future of the United States holds.

Initially, there were conflicting reports about whether or not President Donald Trump can and would nominate a Supreme Court justice during an election year. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) quickly became the decision maker. In 2016, McConnell infamously prevented Merrick Garland—President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nomination—from being confirmed to fill the vacancy of Justice Antonin Scalia by refusing to hold a hearing or vote. Instead, he said the next president should choose the nomination and let President Obama's nomination expire. Donald Trump ended up nominating Neil Gorsuch.

Within hours of the announcement of RBG's death, senators began speaking out about whether or not there should be a vote to confirm RBG's replacement during an election year. RBG dictated the following statement to her granddaughter, Clara Spera, on her deathbed (opens in new tab): "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed." Ultimately, McConnell and and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have decided that precedent—and RBG's wish—doesn't matter and they will move forward with confirmation hearings (opens in new tab) the week of October 12 for President Trump's nominee, Amy Coney Barrett (opens in new tab)—a religious conservative judge that currently serves on the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals—who will determine the course of our nation for decades to come.

Coney Barrett will likely be confirmed (opens in new tab) to the Supreme Court, unless Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and two other Republican senators vote "no." Below, the senators' initial thoughts on whether or not there should be an official nomination before the 2020 election, and whether or not they'll vote to confirm Judge Barrett:

Kamala Harris (D-CA): No / No

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Chuck Schumer (D-NY): No / No

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Elizabeth Warren (D-MA): No / No

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Mitch McConnell (R-KY): Yes / Yes

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Martha McSally (R-AZ): Yes / Yes

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Ed Markey (D-MA): No / No

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Richard Blumenthal (D-CT): No / No

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Mazie Hirono (D-HI): No / No

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Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): No / No

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Bob Casey (D-PA): No / No

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Bob Menendez (D-NJ): No / No

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Ted Cruz (R-TX): Yes / Yes

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Bernie Sanders (D-VT): No / No

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Chris Murphy (D-CT): No / No

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Rick Scott (R-FL): Yes / Yes

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Kelly Loeffler (R-GA): Yes / Yes

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Brian Schatz (D-HI): No / No

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Tammy Duckworth (D-IL): No / No

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Angus King (D-ME): No / No

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Chris Van Hollen (D-MD): No / No

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Susan Collins (R-ME): No / Unclear

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Lindsey Graham (R-SC): Yes / Yes

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Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): No / Unclear

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John Barrasso (R-WY): Yes / Yes

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Roy Blunt (R-MO): Yes / Yes

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Mike Braun (R-IN): Yes / Yes

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Tom Cotton (R-AR): Yes / Yes

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Steve Daines (R-MT): Yes / Yes

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Roger Wicker (R-MS): Yes / Yes

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Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): Yes / Yes

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Josh Hawley (R-MO): Yes / Yes

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Rob Portman (R-OH): Yes / Yes

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John Thune (R-SD): Yes / Yes

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Tammy Baldwin (D-WI): No / No

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Sherrod Brown (D-OH): No / No

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Tom Carper (D-DE): No / No

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Dick Durbin (D-IL): No / No

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Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY): No / No

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Martin Heinrich (D-NM): No / No

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Tim Kaine (D-VA): No / No

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Amy Klobuchar (D-MN): No / No

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Patrick Leahy (D-VT): No / No

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Patty Murray (D-WA): No / No

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Gary Peters (D-MI): No / No

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Debbie Stabenow (D-MI): No / No

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Tom Udall (D-NM): No / No

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Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI): No / No

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Cory Gardner (R-CO): Yes / Yes

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Chuck Grassley (R-IA): Yes / Yes

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Mitt Romney (R-UT): Yes / Yes

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Doug Jones (D-AL): No / No

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Marco Rubio (R-FL): Yes / Yes

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Cory Booker (D-NJ): No / No

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John Coryn (R-TX): Yes / Yes

Senator Coryn doesn't have a Twitter, but you can read his statements here (opens in new tab) and here (opens in new tab).

Joni Ernst (R-IA): Yes / Yes

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Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV): Yes / Yes

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Thom Tillis (R-NC): Yes / Yes

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David Perdue (R-GA): Yes / Yes

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This post will be updated.

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washington, dc august 30 supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg, celebrating her 20th anniversary on the bench, is photographed in the east conference room at the us supreme court in washington, dc, on friday, august 30, 2013 photo by nikki kahnthe washington post via getty images

(Image credit: The Washington Post)

Rachel Epstein is a writer, editor, and content strategist based in New York City. Most recently, she was the Managing Editor at Coveteur, where she oversaw the site’s day-to-day editorial operations. Previously, she was an editor at Marie Claire, where she wrote and edited culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also launched and managed the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game or finding a new coffee shop.