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Deb Fischer says Senate should proceed with Supreme Court nomination

Deb Fischer says Senate should proceed with Supreme Court nomination

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Ben Sasse, Deb Fischer

Sens. Ben Sasse and Deb Fischer

Sen. Deb Fischer said Tuesday she is prepared to consider President Donald Trump's nomination of a new U.S. Supreme Court justice this year despite Republican refusal to consider Democratic President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nomination during the last presidential election year.

"Voting on President Trump's nominee is what the people who elected him in 2016, along with an enhanced Senate majority in both 2016 and 2018, expect us to do," the Republican senator said in a written statement.

"It is also what Democrat leaders have said they would do if they were in our position," she said.

Fischer said she will evaluate Trump's nominee "on the basis of their qualifications, temperament, understanding of the Constitution and commitment to the rule of law."

Four years ago, responding to a letter from a constituent, Fischer wrote: "It has not been the practice of the Senate to fill a Supreme Court vacancy that occurs during a (presidential) election year.

"The American people should have a voice in the selection," the senator wrote. 

Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy opened by the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in March of 2016.  

The Senate did not give the nomination a hearing.

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse thus far has declined to comment on how he intends to vote, but is expected to support the president's nominee.

Sasse is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will decide whether to recommend Senate confirmation. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSdon

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