Senate Advances Kavanaugh Nomination to Final Vote

Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted no.

Advertisement

Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, a member of the GOP leadership, said he would be “very surprised” if Murkowski switches her vote. By a 51-49 vote, the Senate agreed to cut off debate on his nomination, and signaled that a final vote will likely come on Saturday.

“I believe Dr Ford, and I believe Kavanaugh is part of a Big Old Boys club that is going to protect him no matter what”, said Angela Trzepkowski, 55, from Delaware.

Senators had one day to review a confidential supplemental background check into Kavanaugh’s behavior in the early-to-mid 1980s when he was in high school and college. Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the charge, as well as accusations of sexual misconduct by two other women.

Republicans are looking for Kavanaugh to cement a conservative majority on the court, while Democrats say they’re alarmed he could provide the fifth vote to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

“I was disappointed in the scope of the interviews and I was disappointed in the scope of the materials”, Coons, D-Del., told ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega on “Good Morning America”, calling the FBI investigation a “narrow” look into whether there was evidence to corroborate claims made by Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh’s second accuser Deborah Ramirez. Democrats also will campaign on the issue, accusing Republicans of rushing the confirmation without allowing the FBI to conduct a broader investigation.

While the documents have not been made public, Republicans said they did not back up sexual assault allegations by Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University in California.

He and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford appeared in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee separately.

Collins is up for reelection in 2020, and while no Democrat has officially challenged the longtime senator yet, whoever does will have lots of money to play with. White House officials have said Kavanaugh would be sworn in swiftly.

“The Committee does not expect to complete a process and re-vote prior to the scheduled Senate vote”, they said, adding that their former “well qualified” rating would stand until their evaluation was complete.

It sealed a victory for President Donald Trump’s quest to move the Supreme Court rightward, perhaps for decades, and a satisfying win for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the GOP’s conservative base.

Collins said she’ll announce her decision on whether to vote to confirm Kavanaugh later on Friday. Ford’s legal team complained several witnesses that could help corroborate her account were not contacted.

Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who called for a one-week delay to allow for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to probe sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, indicated he would vote for Kavanaugh as well after lending his support in Friday’s procedural vote. She’s running for re-election in a state president Trump won in 2016 by more than 35 points.

The opinion column went live shortly before The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed written by Kavanaugh, in which he described his testimony as “forceful and passionate” and affirmed his commitment to “keep an open mind in every case”.

Advertisement

Trump, who Tuesday scornfully mocked Ford’s Judiciary panel testimony, tweeted that Kavanaugh’s “great life can not be ruined by mean” and “despicable Democrats and totally uncorroborated allegations!”

Zach Gibson via Getty Images