“My generous friends have been well accustomed to the idea of having a liberal court for many decades, but it is not written in the stars,” the Utah Republican told reporters after the decision. He called it “appropriate for a country … the center-right to have a court that reflects center-right perspectives.”
His criticism of Trump led to a vote earlier this year to remove him from office Some question About where Romney will end up on the Supreme Court nominee. While Romney’s position does not mean that votes will be confirmed for Trump’s yet-to-be-named nominee, it does mean that McConnell and Trump can move forward without delay.
Trump tweeted Tuesday that he plans to announce his nominee on Saturday; Amy Connie Barrett and Barbara Lagova appear to be the top contenders.
GOP leaders have yet to decide whether to try to fill the vacancy before the election or wait until the lame duck session, but the current opinion in the party is to move as soon as possible.
“People are very supportive of the idea of moving forward. In time, it’s still in the air,” said Senate Majority Whip John Tun (RS.D.). “Are you personally speaking for me? Yes. [before the election.] But apparently we have different members with different positions. ”
Trump and some Senate allies are coming to a conclusion before the election, but leaders disagree about the timing. Tun said it was a McConnell decision. Romney said he had no priority on timeliness, but had no desire to conduct certification before or after the election.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsay Graham (RSC) said Tuesday that Trump’s nominee would be confirmed before the election and when asked about the length of the confirmation hearing “we will keep the process as it was before.” It will be a lightning-fast confirmation by Senate standards and exceptionally close to the election.
Other potential swing votes, such as Republican Sense. Corey Gardner of Colorado and Chuck Grassley of Iowa said Monday evening they were not opposed to considering this year’s nomination. Sense only. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have said they will not fill the seat close to this election, and Romney is unlikely to leave the seat vacant this year without taking that view.
Romney said he was simply following the law in making the decision to consider the Trump nominee without taking a position in the wake of President Obama’s recent blockade of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland during the 2016 election. Romney said Democrats’ claims that the move was unfair because the opposition party controlled the Senate in 2016 did not weigh on his decision to replace Ginsburg.
Romney said it would make sense for the GOP to move forward if the president’s party controls the Senate at this time, considering the Trump nominee in 2020.
“It’s not unfair because it’s in line with history. It’s in line with precedent, it’s unconstitutional,” Romney told reporters. ” Can’t get a nominee – don’t just follow it. ”
Democrats took a different view. For the second day in a row, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) took McConnell and his members to the ground to dump dirt. He has read Republican quotes since 2016 justifying the Garland blockade, throwing them in the face of the GOP four years later.
They defended the unprecedented stalemate of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. There is no vote in the presidential year because we have to allow the people to decide, ”Schumer said. “Now: ‘Aw, that’s not meant to be.'”
Marion Levine contributed to this report.