Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said that he will vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court.
“After meeting with Judge Barrett and carefully reviewing her record and her testimony, I intend to vote in favor of her confirmation to the Supreme Court,” Romney said in a statement on Thursday.
“She is impressive, and her distinguished legal and academic credentials make it clear that she is exceptionally well qualified to serve as our next Supreme Court justice. I am confident that she will faithfully apply the law and our Constitution, impartially and regardless of policy preferences.”
Barrett, 48, was nominated by President Donald Trump to succeed the late Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the nation’s top court. Her potential confirmation is expected to further tilt the ideological balance and solidify the conservative lean on the court 6-3.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has said that she would vote against any of Trump’s nominees for the Supreme Court position if the vote is held before the Nov. 3 election.
Meanwhile, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ak.) has not announced how she will vote on the matter. She previously said that the confirmation process should have been delayed until 2021, when results of the election are known, including which party would control the Senate.
Romney’s announcement comes after Barrett faced the third and final day of questioning in the confirmation hearings on Oct. 15. The Senate Judiciary Committee set Oct. 22 for its vote to recommend Barrett’s nomination to the full Senate, with a final confirmation vote expected in the week of Oct. 26.
Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, and they are believed to have enough votes to put Barrett on the court.
Romney met with Barrett prior to the confirmation hearings on Sept. 30, after which he released a statement saying that he enjoyed the meeting with Barrett and the two had an “informative, wide-ranging discussion about her impressive background and her judicial philosophy.”
About a week prior to the meeting, he expressed that his decision on 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 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,” he said in a statement on Sept. 22.
“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.”
Janita Kan contributed to this report.