Image Credits: Jim Bourg / Reuters

After a contentious week on Capitol Hill, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing has received the required number of votes from the Senate Judiciary Committee to advance to a vote before the full senate. The exact date of that vote is unknown since the GOP has agreed to ask President Trump to request an FBI investigation into the allegations made against Kavanaugh, and President Trump has indicated he will oblige.

All Republicans on the Committee voted in favor of the motion, including Chairman Grassley and Senators Mike Lee, Ben Sasse, Ted Cruz, Orrin Hatch, John Kennedy, Lindsay Graham, John Cornyn, Jeff Flake, Mike Crapo, and  Thom Tillis.

Every Democrat on the Committee voted against Kavanaugh’s nomination, including Ranking Member Feinstein, and Senators Kamala Harris, Mazie Hirono, Cory Booker, Sheldon Whitehouse, Amy Klobuchar, Chris Coons, Richard Blumenthal, Patrick Leahy,  and Dick Durbin. 

The vote, which was scheduled for 1:30PM on Friday, did not take place until nearly 2PM and was prefaced by a short speech from Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, who is not running for re-election in 2018, who requested a delay of one week before the complete Senate floor vote on Kavanaugh in order to allow the FBI to investigate. Flake echoed requests from various Senate Democrats in the past week to allow the FBI to investigate.

“This country is being ripped apart here, and we’ve got to make sure that we do due diligence,” Flake told his colleagues on the committee.

Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski, who is considered a potential swing vote on the full-Senate Kavanaugh nomination, seconded Flake’s call for a short delay to allow the FBI to investigate the claims of sexual misconduct made against the nominee.

The misconduct allegations, all of which date back over three decades, have come out in the past two weeks though some of them have been known the Senate Democrats since at least July. This delay has led to outrage among many Senate Republicans who view this as a political game. President Donald Trump has called the allegations “completely political.” Judge Kavanaugh referred to them as “a last minute smear campaign” against him.

Kavanaugh’s first accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, got the chance to testify before the Committee on Thursday in an event that was a must-watch moment in politics. She spoke in the morning and Kavanaugh spoke in the afternoon.

As you might know, the Republicans control 51 seats in the Senate but several votes are up-in-the-air. Senators Murkowski and Collins are Republican women who have been facing pressure to vote against Kavanaugh. Senators Manchin and Donnelly are Democrats who have been facing pressure from their strongly Republican constituents to vote for Kavanaugh. Both Donnelly and Manchin voted for Justice Gorsuch.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member