Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the Alaska Republican who was against confirming Brett Kavanaugh back in 2018, said Saturday afternoon that she plans to vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court in the coming days.
During a speech on the Senate floor, Murkowski declared that while she was — and still remains — against advancing the nomination of a Supreme Court justice at this time, she would nonetheless vote to confirm Barrett to the nation’s highest court.
“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,” said Murkowski, adding that she plans to vote “yes.”
“I have no doubt about Judge Barrett’s judicial temperament, I have no doubt about her capability to do the job and to do it well,” she continued.
Back in 2018, Murkowski was the only Republican to oppose the confirmation of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, saying that she believed Kavanaugh to be a “good man,” but wasn’t sure if he was the right person for the position.
She ultimately abstained from the 2018 vote as a courtesy to another senator, Steve Daines (R-MT), who planned to vote “yes” on Kavanaugh, but had to leave town for his daughter’s wedding. Murkowski’s recent opposition to the process occurring so close to an election left questions about whether she would, again, oppose a nominee.
However, during her speech on the Senate floor on Saturday, Murkowski declared Barrett to be “the sort of person that we want on the Supreme Court,” in particular praising Barrett’s legal writings, intellectual curiosity, and patience during the nomination hearings. In a statement, Murkowski also said that she plans to vote against moving forward with Barrett’s nomination in a procedural vote on Sunday, even though she plans to vote to confirm Barrett later.
Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), who has taken on the role of wild card in certain party-line votes, such as during the impeachment trial, has also declared his support for confirming Barrett to the Supreme Court.
“After meeting with Judge Barrett and carefully reviewing her record and her testimony, I intend to vote in favor of her confirmation to the Supreme Court. She is impressive, and her distinguished legal and academic credentials make it clear that she is exceptionally well qualified to serve as our next Supreme Court justice. I am confident that she will faithfully apply the law and our Constitution, impartially and regardless of policy preferences,” said Romney in a statement in mid-October.
President Donald Trump, anticipating Barrett will be confirmed in the senate ahead of the election, has already nominated a replacement for her seat on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, where she was appointed to serve as a first-time federal judge back in 2017.