Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham walked back his remarks vowing to oppose a Supreme Court nomination ahead of an election after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Graham repeatedly vowed that he would stay true to his word and oppose a Republican pick when he opposed President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016.
"I want you to use my words against me," Graham said at the time. "If there's a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let's let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination."
"We're setting a precedent here today, Republicans are, that in the last year...that you're not gonna fill a vacant seat of the Supreme Court based on what we're doing here today," he added. "That's gonna be the new rule."
Graham doubled down in 2018:
Graham reiterated in 2018 that any potential vacancy in the final year of Trump’s presidency would “wait to the next election.”
“If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait to the next election,” he said.
But Graham signaled that he had a change of heart in May.
“You had the President of one party nominating, and you had the Senate in the hands of the other party. A situation where you’ve got them both would be different. I don’t want to speculate, but I think appointing judges is a high priority for me in 2020,” he said.
Graham completed his reversal after Ginsburg’s death, vowing to support Trump’s nominee.
“I fully understand where President @realDonaldTrump is coming from,” Graham tweeted after Trump called for the Senate to vote on his pick “without delay.”
“Harry Reid changed the rules to allow a simple majority vote for Circuit Court nominees dealing out the minority. Chuck Schumer and his friends in the liberal media conspired to destroy the life of Brett Kavanaugh and hold that Supreme Court seat open,” Graham tweeted. “In light of these two events, I will support President @realDonaldTrump in any effort to move forward regarding the recent vacancy created by the passing of Justice Ginsburg.”