Republican Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Tuesday that she could not commit to voting against President Donald Trump’s next Supreme Court nominee.
Murkowski told Alaska Public Media that she could not make a definitive statement on the subject without even knowing who the nominee might be. (RELATED: ‘No Thanks!’: Trump Tweets About Sen Murkowski After SCOTUS Comments)
“I know everybody wants to ask the question, ‘will you confirm the nominee?’ 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,” Murkowski explained.
GOP Sen. Murkowski already backtracks after initially saying she won’t support SCOTUS confirmation https://t.co/3ViH9AboMN
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) September 23, 2020
The Alaska senator said Friday — just before the news broke that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had passed away from metastatic pancreatic cancer — that she did not want to go forward with the nomination process for a new justice prior to the November election.
“I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. We are 50 some days away from an election,” Murkowski said at the time.
Prior to Murkowski’s reversal, it still appeared likely that Republicans would have the necessary votes to go ahead with a confirmation with or without her.
WHIP COUNT — Republican senators on moving forward with Trump’s SCOTUS nominee this year
(**four ???? votes stops the nomination**)
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) September 21, 2020
Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney gave a similar statement to Murkowski’s updated position, saying that he would vote for or against any potential nominee based on qualifications.
“What I intend to is to proceed with the consideration process, and if a nominee actually reaches the floor, then I will vote based upon the qualifications of that nominee,” Romney said.
President Donald Trump has said that he will announce his nominee on Saturday afternoon.