Toomey, swing state Republican, supports Senate moving on Trump Supreme Court nominee

Toomey, swing state Republican, supports Senate moving on Trump Supreme Court nominee
© Bonnie Cash

Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote MORE (R-Pa.) on Tuesday said he will vote to confirm President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE’s nominee to the Supreme Court if that person meets the appropriate criteria, putting another stake into Democratic hopes of keeping Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgTo infinity and beyond: What will it take to create a diverse and representative judiciary? Justice Ginsburg's parting gift? Court's ruling on Texas law doesn't threaten Roe — but Democrats' overreaction might MORE’s seat vacant until January. 

Toomey is up for reelection in 2022 in a state where former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrat threatens to vote against party's spending bill if HBCUs don't get more federal aid Overnight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Haitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes MORE is leading Trump in the polls by a small margin.

Despite being one of the few Senate Republicans who could face pushback from voters in 2022 for voting on Trump’s nominee so close to an election or in a lame-duck session, Toomey says it’s appropriate to confirm a justice to the Supreme Court before year’s end if that candidate is sufficiently qualified.


“I will evaluate President Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg based on whether the nominee has the character, intellect, and experience needed to serve on our nation’s highest court,” Toomey said in a statement. 

The Pennsylvania Republican noted he used the same criteria when he voted to confirm Justice Sonia SotomayorSonia SotomayorWill the DOJ manage to protect our constitutional rights now that the Supreme Court refuses to? Supreme Court trashed its own authority in a rush to gut Roe v Wade Supreme Court's abortion ruling amplifies progressives' call for reform MORE to the high court in 2009. 

“If the person President Trump nominates also meets these criteria, I will vote to confirm this nominee,” Toomey said.

Toomey’s statement quashes what little, if any, hopes Democrats had left of finding four Senate Republicans to side with them in calling for Ginsburg’s seat to be held vacant until the results of the Nov. 3 election are known, and if Biden wins for a nominee to wait until 2021. 

Only moderate Republican Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsWelcome to ground zero of climate chaos A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate Bipartisan blip: Infrastructure deal is last of its kind without systemic change MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiEmboldened Trump takes aim at GOP foes The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - DC prepares for Saturday of festivals & Jan. 6 demonstration Republican leaders misjudged Jan. 6 committee MORE (Alaska) have said the nomination should wait until it can be made by the winner of November’s presidential election.


Sens. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack Overnight On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — GOP senator: It's 'foolish' to buy Treasury bonds Democrats aim for maximum pressure on GOP over debt ceiling MORE (R-Utah) and Cory GardnerCory GardnerProtecting the outdoors: Three cheers for America's best idea Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm Biden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program MORE (R-Colo.), who were seen as two other voices who might object to a speedy confirmation process, this week said they will vote for the nominee if that person is properly qualified. 

“If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, I intend to vote based upon their qualifications," Romney said in a statement Tuesday. 

Gardner said Monday, “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,” he said. 

Toomey in 2016 supported the decision by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse to act on debt ceiling next week White House warns GOP of serious consequences on debt ceiling Lindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees MORE (R-Ky.) not to hold a vote on then-President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandGrassley calls for federal prosecutor to probe botched FBI Nassar investigation Durham seeking indictment of lawyer with ties to Democrats: reports Woman allegedly abused by Nassar after he was reported to FBI: 'I should not be here' MORE, in an election year.

But on Tuesday he said the situation in 2020 is different because the same party, the GOP, now controls the White House and Senate. Four years ago, Democrats controlled the White House while Republicans controlled the Senate.

“The Senate’s historical practice has been to fill Supreme Court vacancies in these circumstances. This is also a view Democrats once held,” Toomey argued.