GOP Senator warns she will 'carefully scrutinize' Trump's pick to replace Kennedy

GOP Senator warns she will 'carefully scrutinize' Trump's pick to replace Kennedy
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiRed dresses displayed around American Indian museum to memorialize missing, murdered native women Juan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump The 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration MORE (R-Alaska) said Wednesday that she would carefully examine any nominee President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated MORE chooses to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy hours after he announced his retirement.

In a statement, Murkowski called Kennedy's retirement a "historic moment" for the nation's highest court.

"[Kennedy's] retirement is a historic moment for the court because he was the swing vote in so many decisions of great consequence. I think he held the court together and did right by the Constitution," she said.

Murkowski, along with GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate GOP poised to go 'nuclear' on Trump picks Overnight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all Dem group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts' MORE (Maine), is expected to have significant influence over the Senate confirmation fight for Trump's nominee.

"My standards for Supreme Court nominees are extremely high," Murkowski continued. "It is my longstanding practice to carefully scrutinize the qualifications of judicial nominees and to cast an independent vote when judicial nominations come before the Senate."

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"There is no doubt that the President’s nominee to succeed Justice Kennedy can expect exacting scrutiny from the Senate and that is the standard I will apply in evaluating the nominee.”

Murkowski's statement came hours after Kennedy announced his retirement, setting up Trump for the second Supreme Court nomination of his presidency.

Though Trump has not yet announced his pick to replace Kennedy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump: Green New Deal 'the most preposterous thing' and 'easy to beat' 2020 Dems avoid this year's AIPAC conference GOP eager to exploit Dem court-packing fight MORE (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that the Senate would vote on the eventual nominee before November's midterm elections.

“We will vote to confirm Justice Kennedy’s successor this fall,” he said.

Trump told reporters that he met with Kennedy Wednesday afternoon to discuss potential replacements. The White House published a list of 25 candidates in November.