Romney OKs voting on court nominee, all but assures approval

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah said Tuesday he supports voting to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court, all but ensuring President Donald Trump has the backing to push his choice to confirmation over Democratic objections that it’s too close to the November election.

Romney told reporters that it is not “written in the stars” that the court will have a liberal bent and that with Trump’s nominee — still to be announced — it will become more conservative.

Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, and the Democrats would need four GOP defections to block consideration. Two Republicans have said they oppose taking up a nomination at this time, but no others are in sight.

“If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, I intend to vote based upon their qualifications,” Romney said. Even if he and the other two should eventually vote against Trump’s nominee, Vice President Mike Pence could break a 50-50 tie in Trump’s favor.

Trump is planning to announce his choice to replace the late Ginsburg on Saturday, setting off one of the quickest confirmation processes in modern times, with early voting for the presidential election is already underway in several states.

Conservative senators are pushing for a swift vote before Nov. 3.

The Senate Judiciary chairman who will shepherd the nomination through the chamber said Republicans have the support they need for confirmation.

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