Vanita Gupta was never really in danger of being blocked from serving as associate attorney general (the Justice Department's No. 3 position), so long as she had the backing of all 50 Senate Democrats. But the upper chamber's GOP still put up a fierce fight by trying to paint the Biden nominee as a "radical" who would weaken law enforcement, as Politico reported earlier this week.
In the end, though, Gupta's confirmation is set to move forward, and Vice President Kamala Harris won't be needed to cast a tie-breaking vote. Instead, Sen. Lisa Murkowksi (R-Alaska) will cross the aisle. On Wednesday, Murkowski joined Democrats in voting to advance Gupta's confirmation, and she said she'll stay the course when the final vote comes around.
Murkowski explained that after looking at Gupta's record and sitting down with her, she was convinced by the "passion that she carries with the work she performs" as well as her determination to serve in the post despite the contentious nomination process. "I am going to give the benefit of the doubt to a woman who I believe has demonstrated through her professional career to be deeply, deeply committed to matters of justice," Murkowski said on the Senate floor.