Updated Sep 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Mitt Romney says he'll support moving forward with Supreme Court pick

Photo: Greg Nash/AFP/Pool via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) announced Tuesday that he would support moving forward with a Senate vote on President Trump's selection to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Why it matters: Barring any big surprises, Democrats have virtually no shot at stopping the confirmation process for the president’s nominee before November’s election.

The big picture: Romney was one of the few Republican senators who were question marks amid Trump's push to quickly nominate a replacement for Ginsburg. Earlier this year, Romney was the sole Republican who voted to convict Trump for abuse of power after the impeachment trial.

  • Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) have both said they oppose voting before the election.

What he's saying: "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," Romney said in a statement.

  • “The Constitution gives the president the power to nominate and the Senate the authority to provide advice and consent on Supreme Court nominees."
  • "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.”

Driving the news: Romney declined to say at a press gaggle whether he would support voting for Ginsburg's replacement in the lame-duck congressional session between November and January if Biden wins the presidency.

Context: Republicans in 2016 opposed confirming President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, because it was an election year and control of the government was divided between the GOP and Democrats. Romney said in the press gaggle that he did not believe the Garland decision was "unfair," arguing that it was "consistent with precedent."

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