Senate votes 51-49 to move Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination to a vote that is expected Saturday
The Republican senator from Alaska voted no on cloture earlier this morning, and will vote no on the final confirmation vote expected to happen tomorrow.
In her own words, here’s how she came to that decision:
“I don’t have a statement right now because I did not come to a decision on this until walking into the floor this morning. I have been wrestling to really try to know what is fair and what is right. And the truth is that none of this has been fair. This hasn’t been fair to the judge, but I also recognize that we need to have institutions that are viewed as fair. And if people who are victims, if people who feel there is no fairness in our system of government, particularly within our courts, we’ve gone down a path that is not good and right for this country. And so, I have been wrestling with whether or not this was about the qualifications of a good man or is this bigger than the nominee? And I believe we are dealing with issues right now that are bigger than a nominee, and how we ensure that our institutions, not only the legislative branch but our judicial branch, continue to be respected. This is what I’ve been wrestling with.
“And so I took the very, very difficult vote that I did. I believe that Brett Kavanaugh is a good man. I believe he is a good man. It just may be, that in my view, he’s not the right man for the court at this time. So I have taken my vote here this morning. I’m going to go back to my office and write a floor statement that is more fulsome. You’ll all have an opportunity to have that. But this has truly been the most difficult evaluation of, decision, that I’ve ever had to make. And I’ve made some interesting ones in my political career. But I value and respect where my colleagues have come down from and their support for the judge. But I also think we’re at a place where we need to be thinking again about the credibility and the integrity of our institutions.”
“I said I hadn’t made up my mind, so I didn’t have anything to change yet. That’s how my process has gone.”
Murkowski had been one of a handful of pivotal senators who remained publicly undecided on the nomination in the days leading up to Friday’s vote.
The other senators who have been closely watched since it was not known how they would vote — Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia — all voted “yes” on Friday.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that Kavanaugh has locked in all the votes needed for confirmation, however, since it is possible that some of those senators could ultimately vote against final confirmation.
What to watch: Collins is expected to deliver a speech at 3 p.m. ET on Friday to announce her final decision.