After a weekend of mourning and fear about the future following Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing, one lawmaker has drawn a clear division of party lines. Republican Senator Mitt Romney formally announced that he will move forward Trump's nominee in a Senate vote. And with the weight of his support, this practically solidifies that the vacant seat will be filled before the election, allowing another conservative judge into the Supreme Court.
"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 on 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."
Considering that Romney has repeatedly battled with Trump in recent years — and voted him out of office during the 2019 impeachment hearings — this agreement to allow Trump to push a Supreme Court pick is especially egregious. To many, Romney was one of the few Republicans that Democrats hoped might still dissent in a Senate vote for Trump’s pick, avoiding the potential of having a Supreme Court with a 6-3 conservative majority.
But, Romney has proven that perhaps he is not turning a more centrist leaf — he just really dislikes Donald Trump. Romney was the sole Republican to vote to remove Trump from office during the impeachment trial in early 2020, which shocked and frustrated his colleagues. After facing fallouts with the GOP because of his choice to stand up against Trump, it made sense to assume that Romney might continue on his course of resistance and call on the Republican party to stand vigilantly against Trump's replacement of Ginsburg.
A new justice on the highest court in the land has major implications for the election, and Romney knows it. To confirm a nominee before the election, the process will be incredibly quick — and it’s something that the Republicans stood vehemently opposed to in 2016 before President Barack Obama left office. Then, Senate Republicans refused to allow Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland, to take a seat on the court eight months before November, citing that it was too close to the election.
Clearly, Romney's agenda is showing: Keeping the right in power, he’s more interested in having another conservative on the court, who may likely derail landmark civil rights cases like Roe v. Wade and the Affordable Care Act. But, a snake in the grass is still a snake, and Romney is venomous in assuring right-wing control over the Supreme Court instead of holding powerful people accountable for their actions.