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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.

Go deeper

Trump endorses primary challenge against Senate GOP whip John Thune

Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Cal/POOLl via Getty

President Trump backed a 2022 challenge to Senate whip John Thune (R-S.D.) on Tuesday, tweeting that his political career will be "over" and calling Thune a "RINO" — Republican in name only.

Why it matters: As the end of his term nears, the president has turned on virtually everyone around him. Tuesday’s tweet reflects his last bid for power as he attempts to cling to his presidency.

Updated 52 mins ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.