Sen. Lisa Murkowski Votes Against Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) went against her own party on Friday morning by voting to oppose the procedural vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The GOP moderate was the only one of three key swing lawmakers to vote “no” on Kavanaugh. Fellow Republican Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine both voted “yes” on the cloture vote on Friday, and will announce their final decisions later in the day.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia also broke party ranks by voting to advance Kavanaugh’s confirmation. The judge could be confirmed to the Supreme Court as early as Saturday.
With the vote currently at 51-49, 53-year-old Kavanaugh is one step closer to serving a lifetime appointment on the nation’s highest court. Senators reviewed the FBI’s report on its investigation into sexual misconduct accusations against the judge on Thursday, a document the White House insisted showed the inquiry was thorough.
Vice President Mike Pence could be the deciding vote if the Senate is tied on Kavanaugh.
Murkowski reportedly said “no” so softly in the chamber that her fellow lawmakers had difficulty hearing her. The Alaska Republican then looked down as she repeated her statement in a dramatic moment.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the Senate Minority Whip, said he was not shocked about Murkowski’s decision.
“I’ve worked with her. She’s stood up in the past on things. She’s a pretty independent person. She was with me on the Dream Act, from Alaska!” Durbin said according to The Hill, referring to a bill designed to shield illegal immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as children from being deported.
Murkowski reportedly spoke to several women from Alaska who revealed to her their experiences with sexual assault on Thursday.
MURKOWSKI now: “I believe that Brett Kavanaugh is a good man… this has truly been the most difficult…decision I’ve ever had to make…we’re also at a place where we need to be thinking about the…credibility of our institutions”
— Akela Lacy (@akela_lacy) October 5, 2018
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) October 5, 2018