Senate Vast majority Leader Mitch McConnell officially has the votes to shift forward with President Donald Trump’s substitution for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court docket seat, now that Sen. Mitt Romney has declared he won’t be blocking the nominee’s thing to consider.
Romney was just one of the last lawmakers to take a stance on a affirmation vote, talking out on Tuesday. Prior to this announcement, there was speculation that he may possibly be part of Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in pushing for a vote to take place immediately after the election. In his statement, Romney did not remark on the certain timing of the vote, but he did sign his openness to going ahead with the procedure.
“I intend to abide by the Constitution and precedent in thinking of the president’s nominee,” he mentioned. “If the nominee reaches the Senate flooring, I intend to vote primarily based on their qualifications.”
Considering the fact that quite a few Republicans have currently fallen in line at the rear of McConnell — such as swing state senators this sort of as Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) — Romney was seen as a person of the previous likely holdouts whose probable defection could improve McConnell’s calculus. Due to the fact Republicans have a 53-47 the greater part and Vice President Mike Pence could serve as a tie-breaking vote if a ultimate rely is 50-50, four Republicans would have desired to split with McConnell to prevent the nomination from advancing.
At this issue, just Collins and Murkowski have said they’d be willing to do so when it will come to the timing of the vote.
As his statement indicates, Romney does not surface to be becoming a member of them and defying the Republican meeting in the exact same way he did for the duration of the impeachment process, when he voted to clear away Trump from place of work. His selection on upcoming actions is in line with his guidance for conservative justices in the past, whom he himself would have most likely nominated had he received his run for the presidency.
“Romney is from a condition that is incredibly spiritual and strongly pro-lifetime. I imagine he was elected to assist a nominee like that. … I would be very shocked if Romney doesn’t vote for the nominee,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) previously informed Politico’s Burgess Everett and Marianne LeVine.
Armed with the help of his conference, McConnell can now move forward with the confirmation course of action the moment Trump picks a nominee, which he claimed he will announce on Saturday. When McConnell’s final decision to commence marks a stark reversal from his 2016 handling of Merrick Garland’s nomination, which he refused to look at all through an election calendar year, Republicans’ regulate of the Senate enables them to continue nevertheless they’d like.
As Vox’s Andrew Prokop has published, it’s feasible a last vote on the nominee could choose area prior to the election, or all through the lame-duck session when Congress reconvenes following the November contest.
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