Romney said he was merely following the law in making his decision rather than taking a position based on the recent blockade of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, during the 2016 election. Romney said the “historical precedent of election year nominations is that the Senate generally does not confirm an opposing party’s nominee but does confirm a nominee of its own.”
He added that his decision is “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.”
Though Romney’s position doesn’t mean Trump’s yet-to-be-named nominee will definitely have the votes to be confirmed, it does mean that McConnell and Trump can move forward without delay.
Other potential swing votes like Republican Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Chuck Grassley of Iowa said on Monday evening they do not oppose considering a nomination. Only Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have said the seat shouldn’t be filled this close to the election.