Sen. Lindsey Graham stated his reasons as to why he’s leaning towards a no vote on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court. That would leave two more senators who voted Judge Jackson to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals last year–Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).
Sen. Murkowski just last month stated she would “be honored to be able to support an exceptional African American woman.” Now, Murkowski isn’t sure how she will vote despite voting Jackson to the second most important court in the country.
CNN reports the senator representing Alaska is saying with a potential Supreme Court Justice appointment lies a different level of qualifications:
“The difference is, you have nine people who sit on the highest court in the land, who are there for life, and it requires a level of review and scrutiny that is in line with the position,” Murkowski told CNN. “So yeah, this is a different game.”
Murkowski also hinted at sitting on Supreme Court being a “really big deal,” but also alluding to other considerations:
“I am serving a term for six years as a senior senator. I’m interviewing somebody who’s going to be there for decades, decades and decades. So this is not about me,” Murkowski said. “This is about her. This is about the Supreme Court.”
“You point out the obvious that I’ve got other considerations that go on, but our reality is this is a really big deal,” she added.
What are the other considerations Sen. Murkowski speaks of? This year, she is up for re-election, and her primary challenger is Alaska Commissioner of Administration Kelly Tshibaka. Tshibaka has the backing of former president Donald Trump. Murkowski can either please that particular GOP base with a no vote and backtrack from her standards or vote yes and potentially lose her Senate seat.
If Judge Jackson doesn’t receive any Republican support for her nomination, the Democrats should remember that the nomination can go through with a majority vote. In theory, bipartisanship is a nice wish, but with 20 Republican seats up for grabs in the 2022 Senate race in November, it might just be a pipedream.