Amid controversy, President Trump says he'll reveal his Supreme Court nominee Saturday
As ten former federal judges, including former FBI Director William Webster, are asking Senate leaders to withhold consideration of a Supreme Court nominee until after Inauguration Day, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney says he will not oppose a Senate vote on President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, the Associated Press reports.
The ex-judges, appointed by both Democratic and Republican presidents, say the judicial confirmation process has become “dangerously politicized.” They warn that injecting a bitter Supreme Court confirmation fight “into this noxious mix” could “unalterably change and diminish the public’s faith in this vital institution.’’
The legitimacy of the Supreme Court “is not something that can be recovered if it is lost,” the judges wrote in a letter to Senate leaders from both parties. “It is up to you to demonstrate the same restraint demanded of our judiciary.’’
In addition to Webster, who was a district and appeals court judge before heading the FBI and CIA, the letter is signed by nine other former judges. They include appeals courts judges H. Lee Sarokin of New Jersey, Thomas Vanaskie of Pennsylvania, and Ann Claire Williams of Illinois.
Shortly after this, Romney released a statement, saying he intends to follow the Constitution and precedent in considering Trump’s nominee. If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, “I intend to vote based upon their qualifications,″ Romney said.
Romney’s views had been closely watched after two other Republican senators — Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — urged that a vote be delayed until after the Nov. 3 presidential election, the Associated Press says.
Romney said his decision was “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.″
President Trump tweeted plans to announce his nominee on Saturday at the White House.
I will be announcing my Supreme Court Nominee on Saturday, at the White House! Exact time TBA.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 22, 2020