Senate Rules Committee Chair Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that "there is plenty of time" to confirm a new Supreme Court justice before November's election, but that in order to do so, the process has to work "pretty precisely."

The state of play: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) became the second Republican senator on Sunday to say she opposes voting on Trump's nomination before the election, joining Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). Two more defections would likely force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold a vote during the lame-duck session of Congress.

What he's saying: “This should take as long as it needs to take, but no longer," Blunt said. "There is plenty of time to get it done before Election Day, but everything has to work, I think, pretty precisely."

  • "Ruth Bader Ginsburg was nominated and confirmed in 40 days. Other justices have taken longer than that, and I don’t know how this process will move forward, but I do know that the Constitution prevails here in terms of how we do this."
  • Blunt added that "if the president nominates somebody who has already gone through this process once, that makes the process more speedy than it would be otherwise" — referencing Amy Coney Barrett, who is viewed as a front-runner.

The backdrop: Republicans stonewalled President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland following Justice Antonin Scalia's death in 2016, claiming that voters should decide in the election who gets to appoint the next justice.

  • Blunt was one of many Republicans to say in 2016 that the Senate should wait to confirm a new Supreme Court justice until after a new president was inaugurated.

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Senate advances Amy Coney Barrett nomination, setting up final confirmation vote

Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

The Senate voted 51-48 on Sunday to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, setting up a final confirmation vote for Monday.

Why it matters: It's now virtually inevitable that the Senate will vote to confirm President Trump's third Supreme Court nominee before the election, which is just nine days away.

Amy Coney Barrett's immediate impact

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

In her first week on the job, Amy Coney Barrett may be deciding which votes to count in the presidential election. By her third week, she’ll be deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Where it stands: The Senate votes on Barrett’s nomination tomorrow. If she’s confirmed, Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to swear her in at the Supreme Court within hours, an administration official tells Axios.

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Amy Coney Barrett's first week

The Senate will vote Monday to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. She'll get to work immediately on major cases including the future of the Affordable Care Act and any election-related cases already on the docket.