While the Alaska Republican wouldn’t say explicitly that she will vote against Barrett, she did affirm her belief that now is the wrong time for a confirmation. “I’ve shared for a while that I didn’t think we should be taking this up until after the election, and I haven’t changed,” Murkowski said. Asked if that means she’s a ‘no’ on Barrett’s votes that begin on Sunday, she replied: “That means I haven’t changed my mind on that.” Murkowski is essentially the only undecided Republican at this point on Barrett’s nomination. Fellow moderate GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is a ‘no;’ the rest of the party’s 51 members will back the conservative judge.
Murkowski’s comments came hours after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved Barrett’s confirmation, sending it to the full Senate for a vote. All ten Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats boycotted the hearing and thus did not vote.
“We are not going to have business as usual here in the Senate while Republicans try to use an illegitimate process to jam through a Supreme Court nominee,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has scheduled the final vote for Monday, October 26.
“We will be voting to confirm Justice-to-be Barrett next Monday and I think that will be another signature accomplishment in our effort to put on the courts, the federal courts, men and women who believe in a quaint notion that the job of a judge is to actually follow the law,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters following the Senate Republicans’ weekly lunch.
Barrett, a 48-year-old judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, was grilled by Democrats last week about her stances on various issues, including the landmark abortion case Roe vs. Wade and the Affordable Care Act, as her confirmation would grant conservatives a 6-3 majority on the high court.
The UPI contributed to this report.