Lisa Murkowski has announced that she will vote in favor of confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. It now appears that Susan Collins will be the only Republican Senator not to support Barrett’s confirmation.
Initially, Murkowski was opposed to confirming Barrett. Her gripe, she said, was with the process. That is, she opposed confirming a Supreme Court Justice, no matter how well qualified, in a presidential election year
Then came word that Murkowski was not a definite “no” on confirming Barrett. She would meet with the nominee and then make up her mind.
Next, it was reported that Murkowski, after talking to Barrett, seemed to be sticking with her decision. She did not rule out voting to confirm Barrett, though.
Today, Murkowski stated on the Senate floor that she will vote to confirm Barrett. She reiterated that, in her view, Republicans should not be holding a vote on Barrett before the presidential election. For this reason, she explained, she will oppose ending debate on the nomination — i.e., oppose having a vote on confirmation.
But once the vote occurs, Murkowski will vote in favor of confirming Barrett because the nominee is well qualified, and it’s not her fault that the process (in Murkowski’s view) is flawed.
Got all that?
This is a coherent, if strange, position. I would note, however, that Murkowski has made an art form of tying herself in knots over whether to support confirming high quality conservative jurists nominated to the Supreme Court.
She agonized — we know because she told us — over whether to back Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination. In the end she didn’t.
Now, she has agonized over whether to back Amy Barrett’s. In the end, she will — sort of.
Just about every other Senator finds it easy enough to take a position in these cases. For some reason, Murkowski finds it a monumentally difficult.