The fallout is still unfolding for Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) after she went against the rest of her party by not voting to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court over the weekend.
According to The Associated Press, the Alaska Republican Party is deciding whether to issue a reprimand for Murkowski’s vote — or whether to disavow her completely.
As the only Republican senator who did not vote in favor of Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Murkowski has placed a target on her back, already drawing potential 2022 challengers and now facing the potential of being asked not to run as a Republican candidate again.
“It’s significant enough that I’m going to convene the whole state central committee, which is about 80 grassroots volunteers around the state, and we’ll start drafting what our response should be,” Alaska GOP chairman Tuckerman Babcock said after the vote, according to KTUU-TV.
Murkowski likely knew this backlash was coming when she made her decision, and even a formal separation from the Republican Party wouldn’t necessarily spell the end of her Senate career, if the past is any indication. In 2010, Murkowski won re-election to the Senate as a write-in candidate even after losing the Republican primary.
There are at least two notable fans of Murkowski’s decision in Alaska; in September Gov. Bill Walker, an independent, and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, a Democrat, called for Murkowski to vote against Kavanaugh — before Ford and Kavanaugh had even testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Murkowski’s vote didn’t technically make a difference in whether Kavanaugh was confirmed. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia was a yes vote, and Montana Sen. Steve Daines was ready to come back from his daughter’s wedding to vote yes if needed.
Still, Republicans all the way up to the president are not letting her off the hook for siding with the minority.
“I think she will never recover from this. I think the people from Alaska will never forgive her for what she did,” President Donald Trump said.
(H/T The Hill)