Hours before the Supreme Court announced that it had lost one of its own, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski told the media from her home state that if a vacancy were to come up, she would not vote to fill the seat. She said that the country was less than two months away from the November polls, and “… the closer you get to an election, that argument becomes even more important,” she said, per the Anchorage Daily News. “So I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. We are 50-some days away from an election, and the good news for us is that all of our Supreme Court justices are in good health and doing their job. And we pray that they are able to continue that.”
Now, as President Donald Trump prepares to name his pick to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, many of us are left wondering whether Senator Murkowski will go back on her comments and follow the lead of fellow Republican senators, or break rank and keep her word.
Lisa Murkowski has opposed Donald Trump before
Lisa Murkowski has broken ranks with her party before. The Washington Post says she is no great friends with President Trump because she doesn’t always toe the Republican Party line, even if she works closely with him to open her state’s land to development. As early as June this year, Murkowski attracted the president’s anger when she said she was “struggling” to find the words to express her feelings about his presidency, and that she agreed with a statement from Trump’s former defense secretary Jim Mattis, who said the president was trying to divide the country.
“When I saw General Mattis’s comments yesterday, I felt like perhaps we’re getting to the point where we can be more honest with the concerns that we might hold internally and have the courage of our own convictions to speak up,” Murkowski had told reporters. “I thought General Mattis’s words were true and honest and necessary and overdue.” She said this, though, despite the fact that she voted to acquit Trump during his impeachment trial.
Murkowski is also the only Republican to oppose the nomination of now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, after Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexual assault, and she voted against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act in 2017.
Lisa Murkowski is popular among women voters and Native Alaskans in her home state
Donald Trump may have threatened not support Murkowski’s campaign in 2022, but it’s not a threat Murkowski is expected to lose sleep over. The Washington Post says Murkowski lost the Republican primary to a tea party challenger, but that didn’t stop her from winning the election in a write-in campaign, and she has the support of Native Alaskans, and that of moderate women voters. She is also known for keeping her promises to Alaska’s energy and environment sectors.
According to her senate bio page, Lisa Murkowski is a third-generation Alaskan and the state’s first native-born senator. She joined the US senate in 2002, and her bio describes her as someone who is willing to work collaboratively and across the aisles in order to achieve practical solutions. Murkowski is said to be passionate about issues including energy, health care, education, military and veterans’ affairs, as well as infrastructure development. She serves on both the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, as well as its Appropriations Committee (via U.S. Department of Energy).
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