Larry Hogan, Maryland's Republican governor, said in an interview for The Texas Tribune Festival that aired Wednesday that it would be a mistake for members of his party to push through a Supreme Court nominee before Election Day.
"I don't think we should play partisan games with the Supreme Court," said the two-term governor of a blue state.
Hogan was speaking with Matt K. Lewis, a senior columnist for The Daily Beast and commentator for CNN, days after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
President Donald Trump has said he plans to nominate Ginsburg's replacement this week, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made clear that he plans to hold a vote on the nomination, even though Election Day is less than two months away.
Four years ago, McConnell refused to hold a vote for former President Barack Obama's nominee for the high court, Merrick Garland, after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died 269 days before the election. Democrats have decried Republicans' sense of urgency now, calling it gross hypocrisy. A few Democrats have called for packing the court if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the presidency.
Hogan cautioned against either move.
"I think it would be a mistake for the Senate to ram through a nominee before the election on a partisan line vote — just as I think it would also be a mistake for the Democrats to question the integrity of the court or any of the nominees or try to pack the court," he said.
Hogan added that there was a lot to admire about Ginsburg's life, including her fights for women's rights, her friendship across the ideological divide with Scalia and her courage while battling cancer.
"We can't let her death create more division in our country," he said.
Hogan is known to buck his party at times, most recently criticizing Trump for the federal government's coronavirus response.
"I think there's just more than enough hypocrisy to go around on both sides," he said. "The American people deserve a dignified process."