In a joint interview with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), while on CNN’s “State of the Union, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AL) stated she was not there to “be a representative of the Republican party.” According to Politico, Murkowski said she would back a Black woman for the Supreme Court, but she used the ‘exceptional’ descriptor three times:
“I want to make sure that the president nominates an exceptional candidate, an exceptional individual, and I would be honored to be able to support an exceptional African American woman,” she said.
Of course, there are some caveats, with Murkowski noting for Biden not to pick a judge that’s the “furthest left.” From the Alaska Public:
“There are many, many exceptionally well qualified African American women who could move forward into this position,” said Murkowski. “So Mr. President, I’m asking you to look through those critically, and not pick the one that would be to the furthest left.”
The Alaskan senator also went on to stress a bipartisan process:
“It goes back to [the president’s] words at the prayer breakfast. How are we going to unify? What is it that we need to do?” she said. “Well, one of the signals that he can send is putting forth a nominee for the Supreme Court that will gain a level of bipartisan support.”
She added: “And when I say a level, I think it has to be more than just one, because as much as that is, it does not necessarily mean that you have that broader support.”
If Sen. Murkowski is serious about this, she may want to check with her male Republican counterparts about supporting an ‘exceptional’ Black woman nominee. Also, there’s apprehension at taking Sen. Murkowski at her word given her recent record striking down the current voting rights bills.
Murkowski has backed 79 percent of Biden’s judicial nominees, including confirming Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Hopefully, she keeps to her word as there are many excellent Black women judges in the mix for the nomination.