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Sen. Dan Sullivan to vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett arrives for her confirmation hearing before the Senate...
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett arrives for her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)(Susan Walsh | AP)
Published: Oct. 21, 2020 at 3:17 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Sen. Dan Sullivan will vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, the senator announced in a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday.

In his speech, Sullivan said he believed Barrett is skeptical of expanding the power of federal agencies and understands issues that Alaskans care about, like the protection of the Second Amendment.

“I don’t know how Judge Barrett will vote on these specific issues, but I trust her temperament, on great display during the hearings, her stated skepticism about federal overreach and her strong belief that the Second Amendment confers an individual right intimately connected with the natural right of self-defense,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan met with Barrett in September shortly after she was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Donald Trump.

Sullivan urged other senators to vote to confirm the judge. Senior Sen. Lisa Murkowski previously told Alaska Public Media that she does not support filling a Supreme Court vacancy so close to an election, citing Senate precedent established in 2016 when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it was too close to an election to consider President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, for the court.

At the end of September, Murkowski changed her statement saying she would "welcome the opportunity to meet with the Supreme Court nominee, just as I did in 2016.” Murkowski’s office confirmed the senator met with Barrett this week. To date, Murkowski has not stated whether she will vote to confirm Barrett.

“Early on I announced my preference that the Senate not take up a Supreme Court nomination this close to a presidential election, applying the same standard I used in 2016, but the process moved forward and we are now just days away from a vote to fill the vacancy left by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg," Murkowski said in a prepared statement Thursday.

The senator’s office said Murkowski and Barrett discussed Alaska-specific laws, but Murkowski is calling the vote a, “decision each Senator has to make on their own.”

Sullivan’s opponent, an independent candidate and the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate, Dr. Al Gross, called Barrett’s nomination “rushed & without precedent” in a tweet posted Tuesday.

“Trust me, she will gut the Affordable Care Act and end a woman’s right to choose, and Dan Sullivan is going to rubber-stamp it every step of the way,” Gross said in a video in September.

The Senate will likely vote to confirm Barrett to the Supreme Court on Monday. Even without the support of Democrats, Barrett has enough Republican votes to be confirmed, the Associated Press reported.

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