Some Democratic Party insiders expressed hope that they would be able to prevent President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from being confirmed before Election Day.
With one statement from U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) expressing support for a confirmation vote, however, optimism on the other side of the aisle was all but dashed, as reported by Breitbart.
“Based upon their qualifications”
Two Republicans — Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — expressed their opposition to holding a vote before the presidential election.
The GOP holds 53 seats in the Senate, however, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) can afford to lose up to three votes before a 50–50 tie would be broken by Vice President Mike Pence.
For that reason, Romney, a frequent Trump critic, likely gave McConnell the votes needed to secure confirmation of a nominee Trump is expected to announce on Saturday.
“If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, I intend to vote based upon their qualifications,” the 2012 GOP presidential nominee confirmed in a statement this week, according to Breitbart.
“That’s not written in the stars”
Romney went on to express optimism about the future direction of the nation’s highest court, as reported by Newsweek.
“I recognize that we may have a court which has more of a conservative bent than it’s had over the last few decades,” he said. “But my liberal friends have over many decades gotten very used to the idea of having a liberal court. And that’s not written in the stars.”
Romney’s support for a vote, of course, is no guarantee that he will ultimately agree that Trump’s pick should be confirmed.
Leading contender Amy Coney Barrett, for example, has a limited record as a circuit court judge and could be deemed unqualified for the lifetime appointment. Nevertheless, McConnell and other Republican leaders — including Senate judiciary committee chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — seem confident in their chances of rallying sufficient support to confirm the nominee.
“We’ve got the votes to confirm Justice Ginsburg’s replacement before the election,” Graham said, according to Fox News. “We’re going to move forward in the committee, we’re going to report the nomination out of the committee to the floor of the United States Senate so we can vote before the election. Now, that’s the constitutional process.”
Although Republicans across the board are sure to endure a fierce political battle, many of their constituents will doubtlessly appreciate a continued dedication to seeking every opportunity to fill judicial seats with conservative candidates.