Republican Sen. Mitt Romney says he supports President Trump's effort to name a replacement for deceased Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, even during this election year.
That revelation came Tuesday morning as Washington watchers were wondering if he might join two other Republican senators who have said they don't support the effort.
"My decision regarding a Supreme Court nomination 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," Romney said.
Romney's vote would make it possible for Trump's nominee to be approved, even as Democrats are threatening all-out war over the vacant seat left by Ginsburg.
Republican leaders believe they now have the votes to confirm a nominee replacing Ginsburg and the president says he won't let Democrat threats stand in his way. Trump told supporters last night, "Now, they want to impeach me again if I nominate somebody. Go ahead...I want them...I want them to do that."
Trump has just announced that he will publicly name his Supreme Court nominee on Saturday.
I will be announcing my Supreme Court Nominee on Saturday, at the White House! Exact time TBA.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 22, 2020
Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mcconnell (R-KY) says the nomination process is going to go forward. "This Senate will vote on this nomination this year," McConnell said from the Senate floor.
Democrats, including their presidential candidate Joe Biden, want Republicans to wait until after the election, accusing them of hypocrisy. "Why not just come to the floor and say, 'I'm going to do what's best for my political party'," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
President Donald Trump has already met with Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a practicing Catholic who is considered the favorite to replace Justice Ginsburg.
Barrett is from Indiana and was a clerk for Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. In confirmation hearings for her current judicial post, Democrats attacked her for her Catholic faith.
In 2017, Senator Dianne Feinstein famously told Barrett, "The dogma lives loudly within you, and that's of concern when you come to big issues."
Barrett told Feinstein, "It's never appropriate for a judge to impose that judge's personal convictions, whether they arise from faith or anywhere else, on the law."
Support for a quick vote in the Senate had been growing, with Republican Senators Charles Grassley and Cory Gardner also saying they will consider nominees, even before Romney confirmed he's now on board with it too.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told Fox News Republicans have the votes and they're not afraid of Democrat threats. "I've seen this movie before. It's not gonna work. It didn't work with Kavanaugh. We've got the votes to confirm (Justice) Ginsburg's replacement," Graham said.
Democrats are threatening a scorched earth policy if Republicans install a new justice and Joe Biden wins the election, by packing the Supreme Court, abolishing the Senate filibuster, and granting statehood to Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. Those statehood steps could ensure long-term Democrat control over the Senate, preventing Republicans from approving any future Supreme Court picks.
John Daniel Davidson, political editor at The Federalist writes that Democrats just made the Constitution an election issue.
"This is sort of a culmination of increasing extremism from the Democrats," Davidson told CBN News. "They've long wanted to erode the constitutional mechanisms that are a check against a pure majoritarian rule."
Meanwhile, Justice Ginsburg will lie in repose in the Supreme Court Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, she'll lie in state in the US Capitol, becoming the first woman to hold that honor.