Despite Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) decision to not vote for Justice Brett Kavanaugh in his confirmation to SCOTUS, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is “proud” to have her in the party and has no plans to oust her in the future.
After announcing a “No” vote against Kavanaugh, Murkowski opted to vote “Present” in honor of her Republican colleague, Steve Daines of Montana, who had to attend his daughter’s wedding during the Senate vote. The Alaska senator opposed Kavanaugh on the grounds of him being not “the right person for the court at this time” despite him being a “good man.” Conservatives expected she would flip due to her outspoken support of abortion and Roe v. Wade.
As noted by LifeSiteNews, scores of Republicans have been blasting Murkowski for breaking party lines, including President Trump and Sarah Palin. While Laura Ingraham has hinted she may challenge Murkowski in a primary, McConnell says she’s here to stay.
“Well, she’s certainly going to recover,” McConnell said, according to The Hill. “Nobody’s gonna beat her. I’m proud she’s in the Republican conference.”
McConnell defended Murkowski by citing her vote for Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was an even swap for Justice Scalia’s seat. Should Justice Ginsburg or Justice Breyer step down under Trump’s reign, Murkowski will likely be opposed to an originalist like Amy Coney Barrett replacing them should Republicans continue to hold the majority.
Of course, the Majority Leader’s rhetoric here could be just that: rhetoric designed to placate Murkowski publicly while giving her opposition behind closed doors. Time will tell.