U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement that he planned to hold a vote on whoever President Donald Trump nominates to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at the age of 87.
A spokesperson for U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, of Kansas, said the senator supported McConnell’s announcement.
Ginsburg died Friday from complications of pancreatic cancer. She was appointed to the bench in 1993 by President Bill Clinton.
The move will prompt a showdown over a potential replacement, with McConnell’s announcement in contrast to his actions in 2016, where the Kentucky Republican blocked action on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee for more than 10 months.
It is unclear whether McConnell would aim to hold a vote before the Nov. 3 election or after, in what is typically known as the lame duck session of Congress.
At a rally in Minnesota on Friday evening, President Donald Trump called Ginsburg "an amazing woman." On Saturday, he called on Senate Republicans to quickly confirm his pending nominee.
Trump had previously indicated he would not hesitate to nominate a justice to the high court in an election year.
"Absolutely, I’d do it," Trump said in an Aug. 11 interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. "I would move quickly. Why not? I mean, they would. The Democrats would if they were in this position."
McConnell quickly put out a statement indicating he would be an ally for that move.
"Americans re-elected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary," McConnell said in the release. "Once again, we will keep our promise."
In an earlier statement, Moran praised Ginsburg’s legacy.
"Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer, tackling each challenge with passion, dedication and extraordinary intellect," he said. "She served her country with honor and had an historic impact on the court and the nation. Robba and I are praying for her family."
U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts has not indicated whether he supports holding a vote on Ginsburg’s replacement but issued similar remarks on her work.
"Franki and I are saddened by the news of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing," Roberts said in a tweet. "Justice Ginsburg’s service and dedication to our nation’s highest court was admirable, and the legacy she leaves behind will never be forgotten."
Moran and Roberts opposed a hearing on Merrick Garland, the federal judge Obama tapped to replace the late Antonin Scalia in 2016. The Senate, led by McConnell, eventually elected not to hold a vote on Garland’s nomination.
"This is not about the nominee, it is about giving the American people and the next president a role in selecting the next Supreme Court justice," Roberts told The Capital-Journal at the time.
Gov. Laura Kelly announced that flags statewide would fly at half-mast in Ginsburg’s honor.
"She was an agent for change, an advocate for the voiceless, and her legacy will live on in decisions that made America more equitable for all of us," Kelly said in a statement.
Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, who voted to confirm Ginsburg, said the former justice was a champion for women’s rights during her time on the bench.
"Ruth Bader Ginsburg was our friend and neighbor," Dole said in a tweet. "An intellectual giant, she was the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court and a tremendous champion of women’s rights throughout her career."