Oklahoma's U.S. Senators, Republicans James Lankford and Jim Inhofe, met separately this week with Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court. Both men say they support Barrett's confirmation.
“President Trump has nominated, and the Senate has confirmed, more qualified judicial nominees at this point than any of the last five presidents," Inhofe said in a statement following his meeting with Barrett. "I am proud to have a president who is not intimidated by the political games of the far-left. He clearly understands the importance of strong judicial nominations and I look forward to confirming Judge Barrett."
"Democrats unsuccessfully attempted to vilify this mother of seven children who has strong support from the legal community and her colleagues," Lankford said in a statement. "I had the opportunity to thank her for willingness to go through this painful process and for her work in over 600 cases as a circuit court Judge. I also thanked Judge Barrett for the example she sets for younger Americans as she unapologetically lives her faith and adjudicates based on the plain reading of our laws and the Constitution. I look forward to supporting Judge Barrett’s nomination when the full Senate considers it in the days ahead.”
Democrats boycotted a Senate Judiciary Committee procedural vote Thursday morning, calling the process "illegitimate." Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) conducted the vote regardless, resulting in a 12-0 vote for Barrett to proceed to a full Senate vote, expected to take place Monday and expected by many political observers to result in her confirmation to the court.
Lankford and Inhofe opposed President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in 2016 following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. In a joint statement, they said in April of that year that "a presidential election year is not the right time to start a nomination process for the Supreme Court. We should continue the long-standing election-year precedent and let Americans have a voice on the future direction of the Court."
Lankford has said that his current stance is not hypocritical because the White House and Senate are both held by the same party this year, which was not the case in 2016, a distinction he did not raise in past statements regarding Garland.