Murkowski votes no on step toward confirming a new Supreme Court justice

Thousands came to the steps of the Supreme Court to mourn Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September. (Brett Davis)

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski voted with Democrats against proceeding toward a vote on President Trump’s latest nominee to the Supreme Court.

Friday’s procedural motion passed anyway, by a vote of 51-46. Murkowski and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine were the only Republicans to vote against taking a step closer to a confirmation vote on Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Murkowski has said that she does not want to take up the nomination so close to the presidential election. She says she’s applying the same standard she used in 2016, when she and the rest of Senate Republicans refused to consider President Obama’s nominee.

Murkowski has not said how she’ll vote on the confirmation itself.

With or without her, Democrats clearly don’t have the votes to block the confirmation. Another procedural vote is set for Sunday to clear the path for a final vote Monday.

Alaska’s other senator, Dan Sullivan, voted with the majority of Republicans Friday, in favor of advancing toward the confirmation.