Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski explained her decision Friday to oppose the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

However, Murkowski also disclosed that though she is "a no" on Kavanaugh, she will vote "present" on Saturday in deference to Kavanaugh-supporting Montana Sen. Steve Daines (R), who will be taking part in his daughter's wedding instead of voting.

"We can take very, very small steps to be gracious with each other," Murkowski said of her decision to respect Daines' intended vote.

In a lengthy speech on the Senate floor, the 61-year-old Republican said that one of the roles she takes most seriously as a U.S. senator is the task to "advise and consent" on Supreme Court nominations.

"I take this obligation... as seriously as anything that I am obligated and privileged to vote on. And so, I have a very high standard. I have a very high bar for any nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States," Murkowski said.

She cited the Code of Judicial Conduct, saying that: "A judge should act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence" that maintains the "independence, integrity and impartiality of the judiciary and should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety."

Murkowski called her personal consideration of which way to vote on Kavanaugh an "agonizing decision," but said that a judge "shall act at all times -- not just sometimes when you're wearing your robe" in the way the Judicial Code directs.

Murkowski called sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh "the worst thing" that someone can be accused of, adding that they were raised during an "overtly political process."


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She reprimanded Democrats for being "dead-set on defeating this nomination from the get-go before he was even named."

"Even in these situations, the standard is that a judge must act at all times in manner that projects confidence," she said.

"I believe that Judge Kavanaugh is a good man. He's clearly a learned judge, but in my conscience because that's how I have to vote at the end of the day... I could not conclude that he is the right person at this time."

Murkowski said that she internally fought with the consideration that Kavanaugh's manner before the Senate Judiciary Committee would be "too unfair a burden to place on somebody that is dealing with the worst... most horrific allegations."

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