Big news to report!
And great news it is…..swing vote and notoriously fickle “Republican” (or is that RINO?) Lisa Murkowski has confirmed she will indeed vote for Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court on Monday!
This is huge!
Take a look:
Sen. Lisa Murkowski will vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, despite her opposition to moving forward in an election year https://t.co/uD7yjxkTUi
— POLITICO (@politico) October 24, 2020
— The Hill (@thehill) October 24, 2020
Sen. Lisa Murkowski will vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, despite her opposition to moving forward with a high court nominee in an election year.
The Alaska Republican said Saturday she will split her votes on Barrett. She will vote against advancing the nomination on a procedural hurdle on Sunday, due to her longstanding objection to confirming a justice so close to the Nov. 3 presidential election.
But based on Barrett’s credentials for the job, she’s a ‘yes’ on the final vote Monday.
“I’ve concluded she’s the sort of person we want on the Supreme Court,” Murkowski said of Barrett. “While I oppose the process that led us to this point, I do not hold it against her.”
The decision by Murkowski to ultimately support Barrett leaves Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) as the only Republican who will vote against Barrett. Collins did not consider Barrett’s nomination on the merits and developed her position from a strong opposition to a confirmation right before the election.
Collins and Murkowski were the only Republicans who initially came out against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plans to fill the vacancy left by the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Democrats have denounced the swift confirmation drive for Barrett after McConnell blocked Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland in 2016.
Murkowski opposed the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in 2018, drawing the ire of President Donald Trump but faced little blowback from within her party. She ultimately voted “present” on Kavanaugh’s final confirmation vote despite her opposition, so that Kavanaugh supporter Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) could attend his daughter’s wedding.
Murkowski will be up for reelection in 2022 and conceivably could have voted either way and kept her seat; in 2010 she lost her GOP primary but won the general election as a write-in candidate. Murkowski slipped out a side door when she left the floor, sidestepping a pair of reporters in an otherwise empty Capitol.
The moderate Republican senator met with Barrett earlier this week and they discussed voting rights, the politicization of the Supreme Court and even the conservative nominee’s approach to challenges to Roe v. Wade. Murkowski, who generally backs abortion rights, concluded that Barrett does not have a “predetermined agenda” and had done enough to win her vote.
BREAKING: Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she'll vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett. She was a rare Republican opponent of confirming a Supreme Court justice before the election but says, "I do not hold it against her." The final vote is expected Monday. https://t.co/XD2frtWZph
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 24, 2020
The LEFT is PISSED….
Faithless. Fickle. False. https://t.co/tpEXtef7T8
— Katie S. Phang (@KatiePhang) October 24, 2020
And here is more, from our friends over at The Hill:
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said on Saturday that she will vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Monday, despite objections to taking up the nomination before the Nov. 3 election.
“I have no doubt about her intellect. I have no doubt about Judge Barrett’s judicial temperament. I have no doubt about her capability to do the job. … I have concluded that she is the sort of person we want on the Supreme Court,” Murkowski said from the Senate floor.
Murkowski, the only GOP senator to oppose then-nominee Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, was one of the last senators whose vote was in doubt.
Leadership indicated earlier Saturday that the moderate senator had privately told them what she intended to do, but Murkowski had kept her cards close to the vest after meeting with Barrett earlier this week. The two discussed, among other things, the Affordable Care Act, precedent and voting rights.
Murkowski, during her floor speech, reiterated that she does not believe Republicans should be holding a vote on Barrett before the Nov. 3 election. Murkowski voted against proceeding to the nomination on Friday and said she will oppose ending debate on Barrett’s nomination on Sunday.
“I do not believe that moving forward on a nominee just over a week removed from a pitched presidential election when partisan tensions are running about as high as they could … will help our country become a better version of itself,” Murkowski said.
But Murkowski added, “Frankly, I’ve lost that procedural fight” and said she was making a decision on confirming Barrett based on the judge’s legal philosophy.
“I believe that the only way to put us back on the path of appropriate consideration of judicial nominees is to evaluate Judge Barrett as we would want to be judged, on the merits of her qualifications. And so when we do that, when that final question comes before us … I will be a yes,” Murkowski said.
“While I oppose the process that has led us to this point, I do not hold it against her as an individual who has navigated the gauntlet with grace, skill and humility. I will vote no on the procedural votes ahead of us but yes to confirm Judge Barrett when the question before us is her qualification to be an associate justice,” Murkowski added.