A full vote in the Senate on Donald Trump’s latest nominee to the Supreme Court is slated for Monday — and it seems all but certain that it will end in another victory for the president.
According to Fox News, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican and a key swing vote for the GOP in their quest to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, has announced that she will vote in favor of Barrett’s confirmation.
It’s a yes
Murkowski was the only Republican senator to oppose the confirmation of now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the fall of 2018, Fox noted, raising questions about whether she’d make a similar move when Barrett came up for a vote.
But in a speech on the Senate floor during a rare Saturday session last weekend, the Alaska lawmaker put any rumors that she might defect to rest.
“I will be a yes,” Murkowski declared, according to Fox. “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 — and to do it well.”
“The sort of person we want”
Prior to Saturday, Murkowski had been unwilling to confirm whether she planned to vote with Republicans on Barrett, citing concerns often expressed by Democrats about naming a new Supreme Court justice just weeks before a presidential election.
But while Murkowski said on the Senate floor that she does “not believe that moving forward on a nominee just over a week removed from a pitched presidential election…will help our country become a better version of itself,” she also said she doesn’t want to hold her grudges about the process against Barrett, according to The Hill.
“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,” the senator said Saturday, as The Hill reported. “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.”
“She is the sort of person we want on the Supreme Court,” Murkowski added of Barrett.
It’s only a matter of time
The only other Republican senator who has publicly sided with Democrats against confirming a SCOTUS nominee this close to Election Day is Sen. Susan Collins (R-MA), who has made it clear that she will not vote to confirm Barrett this week. But even Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, another moderate Republican who often sides against Trump, isn’t buying Collins’ argument.
“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 said in September, according to Fox. Romney later announced his intention to vote to confirm Barrett, saying that he’s “confident that she will faithfully apply the law and our Constitution, impartially and regardless of policy preferences,” as Breitbart reported.
Republicans currently hold a 53-seat majority in the Senate, and they need just 51 yes votes on Monday to confirm Barrett to the Supreme Court. With Murkowski and Romney on board, it looks like it’s only a matter of time before we see Barrett on the bench.