Sarah Palin Hints at Senate Challenge to Murkowski After Alaska Senator’s Vote on Kavanaugh

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin suggested she’d challenge Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) after Murkowski voted “no” during a cloture vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and announced she’d also not vote for Kavanaugh in the final vote, which is slated for Oct. 6.

Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault by three women, but none have been able to provide any evidence supporting their claims.

Murkowski said after much deliberating that she will not be voting for Kavanaugh. “I believe that Judge Kavanaugh is a good man. He’s a good man. He’s clearly a learned judge, but in my conscience, because that’s how I have to vote at the end of the day, with my conscience, I could not conclude that he is the right person for the court at this time,” she said during a speech on the Senate floor on Oct. 5.

Palin, a former vice presidential candidate, took to social media after the Alaskan Republican Senator announced her decision.

“Hey @LisaMurkowski – I can see 2022 from my house…” Palin wrote.

Murkowski was re-elected in 2016 and Senators serve six-year terms, so she will be in office until at least 2022.

Laura Ingraham of Fox News also floated the possibility of challenging Murkowski, writing on Twitter: “I like Alaska…a lot. Maybe it’s time to run for Senate after all. @lisamurkowski has abandoned all principles of due process and fairness. Disgraceful.”

Republicans Support Kavanaugh

Murkowski is the only Republican Senator to indicate she wouldn’t vote for Kavanaugh. The Senate is currently composed of 51 Republicans, 47 Democrats, and two Independents; the latter typically vote with Democrats.

If everyone except for Murkowski votes along party lines, the vote would be 50-50, but one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), also announced his vote on Oct. 5, stating he’d be voting “yes” on Kavanaugh.

“Based on all the information I have available to me, including the recently completed FBI report, I have found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist who will follow the Constitution and determine cases based on the legal findings before him,” Manchin, who also voted for President Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, said in a statement.

The vote is thus expected to be 50-48, as Murkowski has said she’ll vote “present,” not “no,” and one Republican Senator will be at his daughter’s wedding.

Manchin’s announcement came soon after Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), another Senator who had been undecided, announced her support for Kavanaugh, noting how she pored over his extensive judicial record and also met privately with him and asked him additional questions over the phone.

She also slammed an allegation of gang rape that was brought forward against Kavanaugh with no evidence, yet circulated widely by Democrats and a number of media outlets.

“The presumption of innocence is relevant to the advice and consent function when an accusation departs from a nominee’s otherwise exemplary record. I worry that departing from this presumption could lead to a lack of public faith in the judiciary and would be hugely damaging to the confirmation process moving forward,” she said.

“This outlandish allegation was put forth without any credible supporting evidence and simply parroted public statements of others. That such an allegation can find its way into the Supreme Court confirmation process is a stark reminder about why the presumption of innocence is so ingrained in our American consciousness.”

She also noted that Christine Ford, the first woman to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual assault, named four witnesses but none of them, including a life-long friend, was able to corroborate her claim.