Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski encouraged President Biden to tap a SCOTUS nominee who can get bipartisan support.
- During a CNN interview, she said that she would be “honored” to support an “exceptional” Black female nominee.
- Murkowski, who has a moderate voting record, has been receptive to Biden’s judicial picks.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Sunday said President Joe Biden should put forward a Supreme Court nominee who could receive support from Democrats and Republicans, while also noting she would be “honored” to back an “exceptional African American woman.”
During a joint interview with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Murkowski said that Biden tapping a consensus pick would be a much-needed olive branch to Americans who have lamented the increased politicization of judicial nominations in recent years.
“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.”
In the evenly-divided Senate, Democrats could confirm a nominee with their 50-member caucus and the tiebreaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris — without the need for GOP support — but Biden has committed to nominating an individual with impeccable credentials who could receive crossover support.
When Justice Stephen Breyer announced last month that he would step down from the Supreme Court at the end of the current term after 28 years on the bench, the president reaffirmed his 2020 campaign pledge to nominate the first Black woman to the body.
During the CNN interview, Murkowski spoke of her openness to supporting a candidate that Biden nominates.
“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.
Some of the leading candidates to replace Breyer reportedly include Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the US Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia Circuit, California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, and South Carolina US District Judge J. Michelle Childs.
Murkowski has supported 79% of Biden’s judicial nominees, according to Politico, and last year she voted to confirm Jackson to the District of Columbia appeals court seat.