So Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), of all people, released a statement on Tuesday morning that he will, in fact, vote on a new SCOTUS nominee before the presidential election.
This essentially ensures that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has enough votes to move forward with a nomination put forward by President Donald Trump before the election on Nov. 3, 2020.
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Two GOP senators—Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—had asked the party to hang tight on a confirmation and leave the seat open. Silly. And exactly what the Democrats wanted.
Yet with a 53-seat majority, McConnell is now assured the needed votes to push ahead with a nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as Politico reported on Tuesday at approximately 10 a.m.
Ginsburg passed away on Friday evening at age 87 from complications of pancreatic cancer.
Romney is such a quirky fellow. An odd fellow. A limelight-loving fellow. A dangerous fellow.
President Donald Trump—who won the White House four years ago, something Romney failed to do—should of course move swiftly to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat. And the Senate should of course move swiftly to engage in “advise and consent” on the nominee, whoever that person winds up being.
Trump says he will name a woman as his nominee to the High Court. The president has said he will release his choice this Saturday.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chair of the Judiciary Committee, weighed in on the issue, telling Sean Hannity of Fox News on Monday night that “after [Brett] Kavanaugh, everything changed with me. They [the Senate Democrats] are not going to intimidate me, Mitch McConnell, or anybody else.”
“We’ve got the votes to confirm the judge, the justice on the floor of the Senate before the election,” declared Graham, “and that’s what’s coming.”
Romney, though, is such a renegade, and it’s clear he relishes that role. Too bad it appears to be for his own glory, at least in his mind. He should have come out forcefully for filling the seat from the get-go. Enough with the drama, the dithering, the doubts. Out with it.
Be wise and be strong. Be proactive for the country’s sake. There’s enough other bad stuff going on.
In hard times (or any times), no one needs a ditherer. But at least the Utah senator made the right move. This time, anyway.