With His Support, Romney Gives McConnell What He Needs to Push Ahead with a SCOTUS Confirmation

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Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said he supports holding a vote to confirm President Donald Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Although his support does not mean Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has the votes to confirm the nominee, it does mean the Senate can move forward with hearings immediately.

“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,” Romney said in a statement, adding that 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 his support 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.”

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Democrats have railed against what they’ve said is the Republican hypocrisy of rushing to appoint a new Supreme Court justice. Senator McConnell has already announced that he would like to bring President Trump’s nominee to the Senate floor for a confirmation hearing and a vote. In 2016, McConnell infamously denied Merrick Garland, former President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, a hearing, arguing that it would be inappropriate for a president to appoint a new justice during an election year.