Murkowski is widely viewed as one of the most likely Republican senators to support Biden’s pick. She has backed 79 percent of Biden’s judicial nominees this Congress and voted last year to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Jackson is viewed as a frontrunner for the Supreme Court seat.
Democrats can confirm whoever Biden picks without GOP support, as long as all 50 Democrats are present and support the nominee. Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have yet to break with the president on a single judicial nominee. During his CNN appearance Sunday, Manchin said that all of the potential candidates mentioned thus far are “extremely qualified” and predicted whoever Biden picks “will get a majority of votes, it’ll get 60 or more.”
While Democrats can confirm the nominee along party lines, Murkowski said that Biden should pick a nominee who can get more than just one Republican vote. So far this Congress, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has crossed party lines the most frequently to support Biden’s nominee, followed by Murkowski and Sen. Lindsey Graham (RS.C.).
“It goes back to his words at the prayer breakfast. How are we going to unify? What is it that we need to do?,” Murkowski said Sunday. Picking an individual who can get broad bipartisan support “sends a signal to the public that maybe, maybe the courts are not as political as the legislative and the executive branch.”