Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) on Friday morning was the only Republican to vote against a procedural move advancing Kavanaugh’s nomination, setting up a showdown that may have to be broken by Vice President Mike Pence.
After opposing a key procedural vote on his nomination, Murkowski explained her vote to reporters, calling it “the most difficult evaluation” she has had to make.
“I believe that Brett Kavanaugh is a good man, I believe he is a good man. But it just may be that in my view he’s not the right man for the court at this time,” she said Friday after the vote. “This has truly been the most difficult evaluation of a decision that I’ve ever had to make and I’m made some interesting ones in my political career.”
She added: “I value and respect where my colleagues have come down from and their support for the judge I also think that we’re at a place where we need to be thinking again about the credibility of the institutions.”
The senator also told reporters she decided to oppose the procedural measure as she walked to the Senate chamber minutes before the vote.
Murkowski had been one of a handful of pivotal senators, including Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who remained publicly undecided on the nomination in the days leading up to Friday’s vote.
Collins and Manchin voted “yes” on Friday.
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona also said Friday he would vote yes on Kavanaugh’s final confirmation barring no late-breaking developments.
Collins is expected to deliver a Senate floor speech at 3 p.m. ET on Friday to announce her final decision.