Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham has commented he thinks Democrats have a “good chance of winning” the White House in November's presidential election.
During a hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the Republican senator made the comment following condemnation from senator Amy Klobuchar that Judge Barrett’s nomination was taking place amidst the election.
“I just don’t think you can separate this from the election that we are in,” she said.
“This is your country I say to the American people not Donald Trump’s and this should be your judge not Donald Trump’s judge.”
In reply, Sen Graham argued that he voted for former president Barack Obama’s supreme court nominees despite knowing they would be liberal leaning.
“She’s somebody that a Republican would pick,” Sen Graham said of Judge Barrett, but said that he trusts justices to “apply the law” in “big moments” and “not turn it upside down” regardless of their personal beliefs.
“Y’all have a good chance of winning the White House,” he then added.
“Thank you for acknowledging that,” Sen Klobuchar said in response to which Sen Graham replied: “I think it's true”.
Judge Barrett, who would replace the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, faced days of questioning this week as part of her nomination process to the supreme court.
Judge Barrett, who has signed ads opposing abortion and belonged to Notre Dame University's Faculty for Life, has refused to answer senators' questions on Roe v Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court ruling that declared a woman's right to an abortion.
The Republican senator made similar comments during the judge’s hearing on Wednesday, saying that said she would put aside her own views on issues surrounding women’s reproductive rights and abortion if confirmed to the nation’s highest court.
Judge Barrett has said during the hearings that she would be an independent justice if nominated to the court.
The judge’s nomination is being fast tracked following her nomination by President Donald Trump just over two weeks ago. Mr Trump and Senate Republicans have said they want her on the court before the presidential election on 3 November.