Speed Reads

Supreme Court vacancy

Romney will consider Supreme Court nominee if vote occurs before election

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Tuesday added his name to the growing list of Republican senators who have confirmed they will consider President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court even if the vote occurs before the November election.

Romney, who is not considered an ally of Trump, was seen as one of the GOP lawmakers who could potentially join Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in breaking with the party on the grounds that 2020 is an election year. Collins and Murkowski based their decisions on the fact that the Republican-led Senate blocked then-President Barack Obama's nominee in 2016 because it was too close to that year's election. Murkowski explained she believes "the same standard" must apply this time around.

As it turns out, Romney will indeed support a vote, arguing that precedent calls for it. Like other Republicans, he pointed to the fact that, historically, the Senate confirms its own party's nominee in an election year and holds out when the president hails from the opposing faction. Many observers have argued Republicans did not make that distinction in 2016, although Romney himself was not a senator at the time. Tim O'Donnell