The Senate voted 51-49 to invoke cloture, which limits the debate on Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh to 30 hours. This sets up a final confirmation vote on Saturday afternoon.

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski voted no while West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin voted yes. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) also voted yes.

It’s important to remember that the Senate doesn’t always use the 30 hours they’re given. It could happen earlier.

The cloture vote comes a day after the Senate reviewed the FBI report on Kavanaugh, the seventh background investigation on him. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said that the report showed no misconduct and nothing that we didn’t already know. Of course the Democrats criticized the report and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) claimed that it looked like “a product of an incomplete investigation” probably at the hands of the White House.

We are keeping an eye on all four of those senators. None of them have indicated how they will vote when the confirmation comes to the floor. Collins said she will announce at 3PM ET.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) has to walk his daughter down the aisle on Saturday, but “said he would return to cast the decisive vote if needed.”

Reporters asked Flake yesterday how he will vote. He evaded the question, but gave hope for the Republicans. From The Wall Street Journal:

Asked whether he now had enough information to confirm Judge Kavanaugh, Mr. Flake—who last week was prepared to vote for the nominee—suggested the report contained no new evidence supporting the sexual-misconduct allegations.

“I’m still reviewing the information, but we’ve seen no additional information yet—no additional corroborating information,” Mr. Flake said. Ms. Collins praised the FBI for completing a “very thorough investigation,” though she said she was still reviewing the documents.

Republicans only have a 51-49 majority in the Senate so they can only afford one defection. If that happens, Vice President Mike Pence will cast his vote to break the tie.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.