“I believe that the only way to put us back on the path of appropriate consideration of judicial nominees, is to evaluate Judge Barrett as we would want to be judged — on the merits of her qualifications. And we do that when that final question comes before us. And when it does, I will be a yes,” Murkowski said on the Senate floor.
The Alaska Republican had been keeping her decision private and had previously said that she did not believe the Senate should be taking up a Supreme Court nomination this close to the election.
All Democrats are expected to vote against the nomination, though Republicans still have enough votes to confirm Barrett. On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the nomination to the full chamber, over the boycott of Democratic committee members, who put in their seats pictures of individuals affected by the Affordable Care Act.
Unable to stop the confirmation, Democrats have resorted to theatrical tactics instead to spotlight their anger. Democratic senators on Friday forced a rare closed session so members could privately discuss their concerns about the process.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he wanted the closed session in order to have a “candid conversation” about the push to confirm the nomination.
“I believe the Senate majority is on the precipice of making a colossal and historic mistake by rushing this nomination through the Senate only eight days before a national election,” Schumer said in a floor speech before making the motion to employ the extraordinary move.
This story is has been updated with additional information.