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 MurkowskiAnti-Trump Republicans endorsing vulnerable Democrats to prevent GOP takeover GOP rallies around Manchin, Sinema McConnell gets GOP wake-up call MORE (R-Alaska) said Wednesday that she would carefully examine any nominee President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups 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 CollinsSenators ask Biden administration to fund program that helps people pay heating bills McConnell gets GOP wake-up call Republicans are today's Dixiecrats 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 McConnellOn The Money — Democrats tee up Senate spending battles with GOP The Memo: Powell ended up on losing side of GOP fight Treasury to use extraordinary measures despite debt ceiling hike 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.