Alaska’s U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski will vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Republican said in a statement today.
“After multiple in-depth conversations with Judge Jackson and deliberative review of her record and recent hearings, I will support her historic nomination to be an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court,” she said.
The news coincided with an announcement by Utah U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, making them the second and third Republican senators to support Judge Jackson after Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins announced her support late last week. Their support ensures Judge Jackson will have the votes to be confirmed to the court, which is expected to occur later this week. She will be the first Black woman to serve on the court.
“While I have not and will not agree with all of Judge Jackson’s decisions and opinions, her approach to cases is carefully considered and is generally well-reasoned,” Murkowski said in the prepared statement. “She answered satisfactorily to my questions about matters like the Chevron doctrine, the Second Amendment, landmark Alaska laws, and Alaska Native issues. The support she has received from law enforcement agencies around the country is significant and demonstrates the judge is one who brings balance to her decisions.”
Judge Jackson’s hearings have turned ugly as Republicans have sought to score political points and appeal to the camera with inflammatory and warped questions attacking her record, a tactic that many other Republicans have acknowledged and decried. Murkowski is among those who say the process has been tarnished.
“It also rests on my rejection of the corrosive politicization of the review process for Supreme Court nominees, which, on both sides of the aisle, is growing worse and more detached from reality by the year,” she said.
Murkowski has supported the nominations of Justices Neal Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett, but voted “present” in protest to the nomination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. During the Obama administration, she voted against Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.
Murkowski’s vote has been closely monitored in large part because she’s up for election later this year. While her support of Judge Jackson may have once alienated conservative voters, many politicos have pointed out that those hardcore idealogues have already been lost and, in general, there was more for her to lose in opposing Judge Jackson than in supporting her.
“There’s no right to shore up,” Jim Lottsfeldt, The Midnight Sun’s publisher, told the New York Times in a story published last week. “The people who love Trump will not forgive her for the impeachment vote; it’s a waste of time to chase them.”