Nearly a year after the fateful vote on the republican healthcare bill, Alaska's senior senator Lisa Murkowski is once again in the spotlight following President Donald Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.
At the briefing, the Democratic lawmaker held up the metal coat hanger while discussing Kavanaugh and the potential for the Trump nominee to vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that guaranteed a woman's right to an abortion.
Pence's evasions appeared carefully crafted to avoid disrupting Kavanaugh's confirmation process, which will feature questions aimed at picking apart his stance on abortion rights and whether he might eventually overturn or gut Roe.
"I stand for the sanctity of life", Pence said separately.
Pence spent his day on Capitol Hill accompanying Kavanaugh to meetings with Senate leaders after Trump's announcement Monday night that the 53-year-old judge, who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, is his choice to succeed Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who is retiring. "I'm proud to be part of a pro-life administration that's advanced pro-life policies. But what I can assure you is that what the president was looking for here was a nominee who will respect the Constitution as written, who will faithfully uphold the Constitution and all of his interpretations of the law".
If confirmed, Kavanaugh would make the high court solidly conservative. During a presidential debate in 2016, Trump said Wade would be "automatically" overturned if he had the opportunity to appoint multiple justices.
"The President believes that the proper consideration for a nominee to the Court is not about litmus tests", Pence said in response.
"What we don't want is to have people go to the courts with a specific objective or policy criteria". He is as sure as any lawyer can be that a woman's right to an abortion will not be overturned.