Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly could vote for the next Supreme Court justice if Republicans move slower than expected to confirm a nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Kelly, a retired astronaut married to former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, is outpolling appointed Republican Sen. Martha McSally in a special election to fill the late Sen. John McCain’s term, giving an added sense of urgency to Republicans.
If Kelly wins the Nov. 3 vote, he would be eligible to replace McSally on Nov. 30, The Guardian reported, reducing the Republican majority to 52 seats — with at least 50 votes needed to confirm a justice.
So far just two Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — said they want to delay a vote until after the election.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Tuesday committed to supporting Trump’s forthcoming nominee before the election, likely averting a conservative catastrophe if confirmation hearings progress slower than anticipated.
But a one-vote margin would heap intense pressure on Republicans, and progressive advocacy groups would be even more emboldened to unleash supporters on the targets.
Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) want a nominee quickly confirmed before the Nov. 3 election.
Trump intends to announce his selection to replace Ginsburg on Saturday, beginning a scramble toward confirmation before the Nov. 3 election.
Trump said Monday he’s considering five women to replace the liberal icon, including federal judges Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa.
Trump said he may meet with Lagoa during a trip to Miami on Friday. Trump met with Barrett on Monday at the White House.
Lagoa, a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, is a Cuban-American former justice on the Florida Supreme Court.
Barrett , a judge on the Seventh Circuit, is a favorite among religious conservatives and was considered for the 2018 nomination given to Brett Kavanaugh.