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Murkowski hopes Kavanaugh will rebuild public confidence

October 6, 2018

Sen. Lisa Murkowski defended her opposition Saturday to incoming Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, saying she hoped he would find a way to get past the nastiness of recent weeks and push the high court toward more collegiality.

Ms. Murkowski was the lone Republican senator to oppose the judge, but voted “present” during Saturday’s session as a mark of collegiality for a fellow Republican who supposed the judge, but had to be out of town for his daughter’s weeding and missed the vote.

Since the would have canceled each other out had he been here, Ms. Murkowski agreed to sit out the vote to make the final margin of victory the same as it would have been.

“Right now feelings are pretty raw so if through a simple gracious act to say friend you stay back in Montana with your daughter I’ll cover your vote here, maybe just maybe we can heal up a little bit,” Ms. Murkowski, Alaska Republican, told reporters.

Her political future could have been endangered by her opposition to the nomination.

President Trump told The Washington Post on Saturday that she “will never recover” from her opposition.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, another Republican, has hinted she could try to run against Ms. Murkowski, who’s next up for election in 2022.

Ms. Murkowski on Friday had struggled to articulate her opposition to Judge Kavanaugh, saying that while he was a “good man” and a strong legal scholar, she didn’t think he was the right person for the bench at this point.

On Saturday she told reporters she hoped as a justice he would work to bridge divides.

“It is my hope he will rebuild that public confidence, to move the court in the direction I believe we must have must have because as we all know around here it’s a pretty contentious, partisan, pointed, divisive,” she said.

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