Sen. Mitt Romney will support moving forward with President Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy left by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he announced Tuesday morning.
In a statement, Romney (R-Utah) explained that he based his decision on historical precedent more than “fairness.”
“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,” he wrote, “It is based on the immutable fairness of following the law, which in this case is the Constitution and precedent. 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. 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,” the senator concluded.
Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential candidate, was viewed as the last remaining Republican holdout who could stand in the way of a third successful Supreme Court nomination in the president’s first term.
The Utah senator has a sordid history with the commander-in-chief and famously voted to impeach him during the Senate trial earlier this year, a move that shocked Republicans.
Shortly after Ginsburg’s passing Friday, President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said they would move forward on a replacement.
Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska were the only two Senate Republicans who pledged to oppose filling the vacancy before the election.
Currently, Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate.
Aside from Romney, the three other GOP holdouts: Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), all pledged to support the GOP effort to bring the nominee to a vote.