Sen. Pat Toomey said he will vote to confirm President Donald Trump’s pick for the high court if the nominee meets a certain set of qualifications, The Hill reports.
The Republican lawmaker from Pennsylvania issued a statement Tuesday indicating his support for the Senate to confirm a justice if the candidate meets a set of criteria.
“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.
He noted he will use the same criteria he used when vetting Justice Sonia Sotomayor who was appointed 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.
In 2016, Toomey supported Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's decision to block then President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, because it was an election year.
He said now the situation is different because the Republicans control both the White House and Senate, which wasn’t the case four years ago.
“The Senate’s historical practice has been to fill Supreme Court vacancies in these circumstances. This is also a view Democrats once held,” Toomey said.
Democrats have called for the winner of the election to be the one who makes the nomination. Republicans have pushed back saying it is Trump’s constitutional right to fill the vacant seat.
Only two Republican Senators, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, have said the nomination should wait until after the election. Republicans only need a simple majority to approve Trump’s selection.
Sen. Lindsey Graham told Fox News on Monday that the Senate will have enough votes.
“The nominee is going to be supported by every Republican in the Judiciary Committee,” the South Carolina lawmaker said. “We’ve got the votes to confirm the justice on the floor of the Senate before the election and that’s what’s coming.”
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