Mitt Romney is not one to shy away from controversy, especially when it comes to butting heads with his own political party or defiantly chiding President Trump.
So when the Utah senator announced that he was in favor of holding a vote on President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, many in the GOP were astonished. In short, Romney’s support effectively ensures Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement will receive a Senate vote.
“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 Tuesday. “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.”
This appears to be an unbelievable 360 for Romney, who was easily considered one of the likely Republican defectors who could oppose holding a vote on the nominee before the November election. As you will remember, Romney was the only Republican senator to vote to remove Trump from office during Trump’s impeachment trial at the beginning of this year.
Romney explained to reporters Tuesday morning that he favors a legal expert who is also a “strict constructionist” to replace Ginsburg, saying he welcomes a more conservative Court.
Opportunistic? Maybe, but in a time where every victory matters, Romney’s fickle support will make a difference.