Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) supports a Senate vote on President Trump’s forthcoming Supreme Court nominee, he announced Tuesday morning.
“My decision regarding a Supreme Court nomination is not the result of a subjective test of ‘fairness’ which, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder,” Romney said in a statement. “It is based on the immutable fairness of following the law, which in this case is the Constitution and precedent.”
He echoed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in noting that the “historical precedent of election year nominations is that the Senate generally does not confirm an opposing party’s nominee but does confirm a nominee of its own.”
“The Constitution gives the president the power to nominate and the Senate the authority to provide advice and consent on Supreme Court nominees,” he continued.
“Accordingly, I intend to follow the Constitution and precedent in considering the president’s nominee. If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, I intend to vote based upon their qualifications,” he added:
My statement regarding the current Supreme Court vacancy: pic.twitter.com/6YO0dPWWXc
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) September 22, 2020
Romney’s statement comes on the heels Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), who announced Monday evening that he will vote to confirm Trump’s nominee, should he or she meet the criteria.
“I have and will continue to support judicial nominees who will protect our Constitution, not legislate from the bench, and uphold the law,” Gardner said in a statement. “Should a qualified nominee who meets this criteria be put forward, I will vote to confirm”:
Read my full statement on the Supreme Court vacancy ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/n2YNP8O0Bz
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) September 21, 2020
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), another key Republican senator in the SCOTUS battle, has indicated that the GOP must maintain the same standard it embraced in 2016.
“I did not support taking up a nomination eight months before the 2016 election to fill the vacancy created by the passing of Justice [Antonin] Scalia,” Murkowski said in a statement. “We are now even closer to the 2020 election, less than two months out, and I believe the same standard must apply”:
My statement after hearing of the passing of Justice of United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: pic.twitter.com/1zhWSH5hhg
— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) September 19, 2020
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), meanwhile, said she has “no objection” to the Senate beginning the process prior to the election but added the vacancy should ultimately be filled by the candidate who is elected on November 3:
My statement on the Supreme Court vacancy: pic.twitter.com/jvYyDN5gG4
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) September 19, 2020
While what is sure to be a contentious confirmation process lies ahead, it appears McConnell has, at this moment in time, secured a sufficient number of GOP votes to charge ahead.
President Trump is expected to name his nominee on Saturday.