President Barack Obama announced a nominee for the vacant Supreme Court seat today, but Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says she isn’t changing her stance of waiting until after the November election to hold a vote on any nominee.
Ernst, a Republican from Red Oak, says the background of the president’s nominee doesn’t matter. “This is not about a particular person, this is about the fact that we have a president who is moving out of his presidency we want the people to speak out — we want to hear their opinion on this — and they will do that by electing a new president.
Iowa’s other U.S. Senator, Chuck Grassley chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he says will not hold a hearing on any nominee until after the election. Ernst says she supports fellow Republican Grassley’s decision.
“The president may make a nomination, but again, we are not focused on any one individual. What we are looking at is the fact that we want to be sure the next president has the chance to take up his or her nomination,” Ernst says. “So, we will wait and see, we will wait and see.”
The race for the Republican presidential nomination continued to move forward with votes in several states Tuesday. Ernst told reporters again today she will support the Republican nominee, and wants others to do the same. “I do hope that if there is a very clear indication of a front-runner, and they have a significant amount of delegates going into a convention, I would hope that the Republican Party would take a very hard at that and then support that person — whoever that front-runner may be,” Ernst says.
There is talk of a fight for delegates at the convention if Donald Trump remains the front-runner. Ernst says that’s a hypothetical situation at this point, as Ernst says the voters are still making their decision.
“They are giving an indication of who they would like to see as their nominee. And I think it is important that we as Republicans are listening to our constituencies,” according to Ernst. Marco Rubio dropped out of the Republican race after losing his home state of Florida Tuesday, and Ernst says that’s is part of the selection process and those with momentum will continue ahead..
“It was very unfortunate to see Senator Rubio decide to close out his campaign, but again, those who have momentum are going to continue on. And I do think it is very exciting to see so many people participating in their primaries and caucuses,” Ernst says.
Ernst had introduced Rubio at a campaign event prior to the Iowa Caucuses, but said it was not an endorsement and said she will not endorse any candidate until the convention. President Obama announced the nomination of Washington, D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court this morning.