[guest post by Dana]
My decision regarding 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.
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.
Last night, Colorado’s Cory Gardner, who is in danger of losing reelection, broke his silence and announced that he would vote to confirm:
When a President exercises constitutional authority to nominate a judge for the Supreme Court vacancy, the Senate must decide how to best fulfill its constitutional duty of advice and consent. I have and will continue to support judicial nominees who will protect our Constitution, not legislate from the bench, and uphold the law. Should a qualified nominee who meets this criteria be put forward, I will vote to confirm.
Susan Collins, who is in a toss-up race for reelection, and Lisa Murkowski have publicly said they do not support the Senate taking up a nomination before the presidential election.
This was FiveThirtyEight’s prediction before Romney and Gardner’s announcement:
Based on what we know right now, here’s the most likely way that the dominoes will fall: Trump chooses a nominee this week. The Senate holds hearings in October, but there is not a vote on the nominee before the election. Biden beats Trump. In the postelection, lame-duck Senate session, 50 Republican senators and Vice President Mike Pence combine for 51 votes to confirm Trump’s nominee, with the 47 Democrats, Collins, Murkowski and Romney in opposition.
As it now stands, there are 51 votes.