GOP senators "don't have to go lockstep" with President Trump on Supreme Court pick, Amy Klobuchar says

Sen. Klobuchar on SCOTUS confirmation fight
Sen. Klobuchar on SCOTUS confirmation fight 06:28

Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar urged her Republican colleagues to "look in their own souls" and not consider a Supreme Court justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg until after the November election. Klobuchar, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Republicans do not need to "go lockstep" with President Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump said he would announce a nominee to fill Ginsburg's seat this week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who in 2016, blocked then-President Barack Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court because it was an election year, said the Senate will vote on Mr. Trump's nominee, despite it being another election year. 

Moving forward with the nominee prior to the election goes against Ginsburg's last wish, which she dictated to her granddaughter. 

"My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed," Ginsburg said. 

Klobuchar called on Republicans to respect that wish and follow "their own precedent."

"They made it very clear that if this happens in an election year that whoever wins the election should be able to decide who the Supreme Court justice is," she said on "CBS This Morning" Monday. 

Two Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — have said they oppose filling the seat before the election. But others, including Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, walked back what they said in 2016.

Republicans currently have a 53-47 majority in the Senate and would need 51 votes to confirm a nominee.

Klobuchar said she believes there could be other Republicans who will not agree with Mr. Trump and McConnell. "So I'm not going to concede that we have to look at what our strategies are until we know that they are all going to basically sell out to Mitch McConnell," she said.

"Regardless of what Donald Trump is going to do this week, my colleagues don't have to go lockstep with him," Klobuchar added. "They can look in their own souls and their integrity and make a decision."

She urged her colleagues to listen to their constituents. 

"A Reuters poll just came out yesterday that showed that 62% of Americans believe that whoever wins the election should pick this justice. Five out of 10 Republicans in that poll said the same thing," she said. "They are going to have to listen to their own constituents, and there are a number of them have not yet said where they are on this. So that's my focus right now: really appealing to their sense of democracy, the sense of justice, and we will go from there."

Calling Ginsburg a "hero, an icon, a woman ahead of her time," Klobuchar said she will not "give up because she never gave up."