This past week, 100 Republican female leaders in Alaska called on their Republican U.S. Senator, Lisa Murkowski, to vote in favor of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
“Having the insights of Judge Barrett on the highest court is critical to protect originalist jurisprudence in our country,” they write. “This is an appropriate opportunity to confirm an exceptional female legal scholar whose views on the interpretation of constitutional issues would be an important contribution to our country at a time of turmoil, confusion, and uncertainty.”
Signers include business owners, corporate professionals, retired and practicing attorneys, veterans, nurses, retired and current teachers, CPAs, realtors, nonprofit directors and employees, and women representing other professions.
At the center of Barrett’s confirmation are two Republican female senators who have said oppose voting for a nominee if the Senate confirmation takes place before the November 3 election.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the vote will take place before the end of October–just days before the election–meaning Murkowski, unless she says otherwise would oppose Barrett’s nomination, not on merit but on “principle.”
However, historical precedent dictates that when a president and Senate majority are of the same political party the Senate has voted on a presidential nominee.
Alyce Hanley, a former Republican Alaska state legislator and signer of the letter, said in a statement, “any president who enjoys a Senate majority of his own party would go forward with his nominee regardless of an impending national election.”
Murkowski, who has indicated that she would be willing to meet with Barrett, is joined in her opposition by Republican Sen. Susan Collins from Maine, who is facing the toughest reelection battle of her career.
The Alaskan women’s coalition says they support Murkowski but they don’t support her position on not voting for Barrett.
Libby Dalton Slane, president of the Republican Women of Fairbanks, a group that is widely known in Alaska to have been supportive of Murkowski, added, “The chance to appoint a moderate-conservative female voice on the Court is monumental and we want our senator to take advantage of this opportunity.”
The women argue the nomination presents “an appropriate opportunity to confirm an exceptional female legal scholar whose views on the interpretation of constitutional issues would be an important contribution to our country at a time of turmoil, confusion, and uncertainty. Importantly, we need a full complement of court members to address any issues arising from election contests.”
The conservative Club for Growth launched television ads on Tuesday urging voters to pressure Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski to vote for Barrett.
“A woman of remarkable intellect and character. Brilliant, wise, impeccable temperament,” the Club for Growth ad says. “Tell Sen. Murkowski: Confirm judge Barrett to the Supreme Court.”
The last Republican female nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court was Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, appointed by President Ronald Reagan. If confirmed, Barrett will be only the second Republican nominee in U.S. history to sit on the court.