Sen. Mitt Romney, who was originally seen as a potential swing vote on Senate Republicans' efforts to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat of late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, made brief comments on the Senate floor Monday morning supporting the woman who will likely be confirmed as Ginsburg's successor Monday night: Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
Romney, R-Utah, in his comments praised Barrett for her credentials but also her "integrity" and "commitment to the rule of law." Romney said those qualities made Barrett key to preserving trust in the Supreme Court as he slammed members of both parties for attacking the trust in American institutions.
"She's exceptionally intelligent, academically astute and impeccably credentialed," Romney said. "I will be honored to vote to confirm her nomination."
SENATE DEMOCRATS SPEAK ALL NIGHT ON SENATE FLOOR AS BARRETT CONFIRMATION EDGES CLOSER TO MONDAY NIGHT VOTE
Romney continued: "I also rise to address my concern regarding the division and contempt for others that is growing among many of our citizens. … Trust in the F.B.I. and the intelligence community, long admired for their integrity and professionalism, has withered with the attacks by both parties, though admittedly my party has been more vocal."
Romney also decried attacks on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the free press.
The senator, who was the only Republican to vote to remove President Trump from office earlier this year, said that his nominee will be key to keeping a similar lack of trust from infecting the Supreme Court.
"It's essential that the Supreme Court retain the trust of the nation," Romey said. "That's why Judge Barrett's integrity, wisdom and commitment to the rule of law is so important."
He added: "I'm confident that she is up to the measure of the times in which we now live. May God bless her and her family as they begin this chapter of service to our nation."
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett meets with Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., not pictured, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Barrett is expected to be confirmed to the Supreme Court Monday evening. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP)
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The only Republican expected to vote against Barrett is Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who has said she objects to the process used to confirm Barrett so close to a presidential election after Republicans blocked Obama nominee Merrick Garland ahead of the 2016 election.
With all Democrats voting against Barrett, then, the likely vote total will be 52-48 in favor of her confirmation, barring any surprises.
The clock is ticking on 30 hours of debate after the Senate invoked cloture on the Barrett nomination Sunday, meaning a vote to confirm her as a Supreme Court justice is likely to happen Monday evening.