Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney announced on Tuesday that he will support a confirmation vote for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, CNN reports.
Romney, who voted to remove Trump from office during his impeachment trial, sided with most of his party and said he would support the Senate taking up the nomination before the election.
"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. The Constitution gives the President the power to nominate and the Senate the authority to provide advice and consent on Supreme Court nominees," Romney said in a statement. "Accordingly, 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."
GOP expected to push quick confirmation:
The Republican Party is expected to push for a speedy confirmation trial ahead of Election Day.
Republicans have a 53-seat majority and only two members -- Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski -- have said they oppose a vote before the election.
"I think it would be a good idea to move forward,” Sen. John Thune, the No. 3 Republican in the Senate, told CNN.
"Moving ahead with a vote on the forthcoming Supreme Court nomination will be consistent with both history and precedent," argued Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who opposed President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016.
Trump expected to announce on Saturday:
President Donald Trump said he will announce his nominee on Saturday.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett is the frontrunner, according to numerous media reports.
"I haven't reviewed her judicial record to this point,” Romney said Tuesday. “And will look forward to doing so if she's the nominee."
"I'm not going to look at all the hypotheticals that might occur.But I've laid out what I intend to do and that would be... not dependent upon the timing,” Romney added. "I've indicated what I intend to do is to proceed with the consideration process and if a nominee actually reaches the floor, that I will vote and based upon the qualifications of that nominee."