Mitt Romney reportedly has agreed with Republican leadership’s decision to move ahead with the process of confirming a Supreme Court nominee. With Romney apparently on board, Lindsey Graham says that leadership has the votes to get a nominee confirmed, assuming no unexpected developments.
I think confirmation needs to occur before the election. Afterwards, it will be too easy for certain Senators to defect if Trump loses. And frankly, there would be solid objections to the confirmation of a lame duck’s nominee by a lame duck Senate.
Before the election, I don’t see a solid objection to confirming a well qualified nominee if the president’s party has the votes to do it. The Democrats didn’t have the votes in 2016. The Republicans may have them in 2020. End of story, I hope.
With Romney on board, the lift becomes easier. Sens. Collins and Murkowski apparently won’t support the nominee, but the opposition needs two more defectors.
Sen. Hawley says he won’t vote to confirm a nominee who refuses to agree that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. So if the nominee is someone other than Amy Barrett, Hawley might defect.
But even if that happens, the nominee has a good shot at 50 votes, which is all that’s required.
It’s also possible that some or all of the defectors will abstain, rather than vote “no.” So the Democrats might be stuck at, or around, 47 votes.
In short, all systems are go — or so it seems.