On Tuesday, Senator Mitt Romney announced he will support a Senate vote on President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
The move may come as a surprise to conservatives, as Romney is viewed by many to be anti-Trump.
Romney: ‘I intend To Vote Based Upon Their Qualifications’
Romney said in a statement, “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.
“It is based on the immutable fairness of following the law, which in this case is the Constitution and precedent.”
Romney’s statement noted there is nothing hypocritical about the move:
“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,” Romney’s statement continued.
My statement regarding the current Supreme Court vacancy: pic.twitter.com/6YO0dPWWXc
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) September 22, 2020
“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.
Republican Senator Gardner Signals Support For Trump Nomination
Romney’s statement comes in the wake of Republican Senator Cory Gardner’s announcement Monday that he will vote to confirm Trump’s nominee if the President’s pick meets his 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
Republican Senators Murkowski And Collins Do Not Support Vote
However, moderate Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins have said they want whoever is president after the November election to make the SCOTUS pick.
They rationalized that this is what Republicans did in 2016 with then-President Barack Obama’s choice of Judge Merrick Garland right before that year’s election.
“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,” Sen. 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. Collins said the vacancy should ultimately be filled by whoever wins between Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden on November 3.
My statement on the Supreme Court vacancy: pic.twitter.com/jvYyDN5gG4
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) September 19, 2020
Romney Supports A vote – But How Will HE Vote?
It should be noted that while Romney said he supports a vote on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, he did not indicate whether or not he would vote for that choice himself.
Being Mitt Romney, that could go either way.
The former Massachusetts Governor turned Utah Senator has a long history in the “Never Trump” movement.
Beginning in 2016, Romney declared his allegiance to Never Trump with a speech urging against Trump as the Republican nominee for President.
“Think of Donald Trump’s personal qualities, the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third grade theatrics,” Romney said then.
The Senator also ran a fake Twitter account to attack Trump, using the name “Pierre Delecto.”
Most recently, Romney voted to convict President Trump in his impeachment trial.
The Trump administration has announced the President should make his nominee announcement on Saturday.
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