Young joins Braun in support of SCOTUS nominee vote before election

Indiana Sen. Todd Young on Tuesday joined fellow Republican Sen. Mike Braun in supporting the Senate taking a confirmation vote on a nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the November election. Like Braun, Young also signaled support for 7th Circuit Judge and Notre Dame law professor Amy Coney Barrett as Ginsburg’s successor.

Young — who had been silent since Friday on whether he would vote for President Donald Trump’s nominee before the Nov. 3 election — announced Tuesday that he’s also seeking a speedy nomination of a new Supreme Court justice.

“When this Republican president was elected in 2016 and the American people expanded the Republican majority in the Senate — the expectation of the American people was that should a Supreme Court vacancy arise, that that vacancy should be filled,” Young said during a Republican news conference on Capitol Hill. “We will act because the American people want us to act, and the people of Indiana in particular want me to act on this nomination.”

Naming Barrett as one of the “incredibly talented potential nominees,” Young said he thinks any of the judges that the president has discussed in recent days “would be an excellent choice.”

“I think it’s important that we do this prior to the election,” Braun said earlier Tuesday. “(Republicans) do control the presidency and the Senate. And I think the majority of Hoosiers who elected me would be disappointed if we didn’t do the vote.”

Braun, a first-term Republican, said he thinks Trump should pick Amy Coney Barrett because of her judicial record. Barrett has served on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago for three years.

If the Senate vote gets delayed, however, Braun said his own vote won’t change: “It’s going to be on the merits of the case, regardless of whether it happens before or after the election.”

On Monday, Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody pointed to Young’s remarks after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in 2016. Young, a congressman at the time, said then that senators should “let the people decide our next Supreme Court Justice.”

“Todd Young is just another cynical politician who lacks the backbone to honor his own word to put principles before politics,” Zody said in a statement Tuesday following Young’s announcement. “He’s been swallowed up by the D.C. swamp, where a Republican’s promise isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”

Trump said he will announce his nominee on Saturday.

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