Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski surprised her fellow Senators when she announced on Tuesday that she was not dead set against replacing the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the November presidential election.
According to The Daily Wire, Murkowski reversed her position from last week, saying that she wasn’t ruling out voting for a nominee put forward by President Donald Trump to replace the late far-left justice, should the vote come up before the election.
“I know everybody wants to ask the question, ‘Will you confirm the nominee?’” said the senator, as Alaska Public Media reported. “We don’t have a nominee yet. You and I don’t know who that is. And so I can’t confirm whether or not I can confirm a nominee when I don’t know who the nominee is.”
While she isn’t standing against the process, she was also clear to make it known that she doesn’t condone the nomination either. The senator seems to be in the group of people who believes that they should wait for the election to be over so that the next president can put forward who he thinks should fill the position.
“I do not support this process moving forward,” the Alaska Republican said. But went on to say, “Now, having said that, this process is moving forward with or without me.”
“If I had felt that there was a rush to move this through because you’re up against a deadline that is hard and fast, like an election, and that a nominee had not been thoroughly and fairly evaluated through our process, then I’m going to have to look at that,” Murkowski said.
Conservatives had largely counted Murkowski out when counting heads for who could be depended on to support the nomination. That belief was largely due to her lack of decisiveness during the last Supreme Court confirmation, of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation, which was fraught with more turmoil than any nomination in recent history, caused deep political divides between former friends in Washington. The “Believe Women” campaign that was fiercely championed by the left and just as quickly discarded when a Democrat was accused, caused rifts that are still being sorted out today.
Whatever political predicament Murkowski found herself in that caused her to lean away from her own party and toward the left, Republicans were irate at her insistence on not supporting the conservative nominee with no apparent roadblocks to confirmation.
However, her signal in the aftermath of Ginsburg’s passing could be due to the left overplaying their hand. Senior Democratic Senator on the Senate Judiciary Committee Dianne Feinstein was seen putting aggressive pressure on Murkowski during the hotly contested battle to confirm Kavanaugh as was reported in Sept. 2018.
“MURKOWSKI and FEINSTEIN huddling in Capitol basement. What are they talking about?’ CBS News reporter Bo Erickson tweeted, sharing a photo of the pair. The image shows a seemingly hen-pecked Murkowski with her back physically against a wall as Feinstein leaned in toward her with her signature glare, one palm on the wall beside Murkowski’s head.
A handful of undecided Republicans who also sat on the Judiciary Committee were nearby the seemingly tumultuous scene. This interaction took place the day before the committee heard Kavanaugh’s testimony, along with that of his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.
Erickson’s question went far and wide with more than 2,000 responses and speculation as to what the pair might have been discussing.
“They know what they do in the days to come will impact the lives of girls and women for generations. They know this,” tweeted user Cheri Jacobus.
“Look at DiFi giving Murkowski the old LBJ Treatment,” wrote another user.
Whether Murkowski was scared off by the aggressive treatment or whether she genuinely wants to confirm today more than she did in 2018, Republicans are unlikely to question their streak of very good luck.