ADVANCED! Kavanaugh Nomination Goes to Full Senate on 11-10 Committee Vote
The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and advanced to the senate floor on an 11-10 vote split purely on party lines. Testimony prior to the vote which was tallied at 2pm EDT was a contentious rehash of Thursday’s monumental and highly charged day of testimony by Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford, the woman alleging that a teenaged Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in an upstairs bedroom at a drunken party in 1982.
Democrats testifying today praised Blasey-Ford as an historic figure and a champion of women’s rights who will live on in history, in the words of Senators Dick Durbin of Illinois and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, “Long after all of us are gone.” Senator Corey Booker of New Jersey compared Blasey-Ford to a civil rights hero, stopping just short of placing her on equal terms with Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Diane Feinstein of California called Blasey-Ford’s testimony “heroic and courageous.”
In their discussion today, Democrats continually cited “corroboration” by three witnesses named by Blasey-Ford as evidence to the veracity of her claims. Republicans continually reminded those watching and viewing the proceeding that all three witnesses claimed by Blasey-Ford to have attended the party have denied those claims under penalty of felony perjury and have all repudiated any recollection of such a gathering. One, a close Blasey-Ford friend, Leland Keyser, has denied under oath ever meeting Brett Kavanaugh or attending any party matching the one described by Blasey-Ford in her allegation.
Kavanaugh’s nomination now goes to the floor of the United States Senate for a vote that could face a potential one week delay for further FBI investigation, based on a last-second request by Arizona Senator Jeff Flake who broke ranks with Republicans, joining Democrats in calling for additional FBI investigation prior to a full Senate vote.
“I cannot go forward with a final vote to approve without there being opportunity for investigation of these claims,” Flake said. Even as Senator Chuck Grassley called for roll call vote, Democrat committee members expressed confusion on the motion, with Senator Feinstein interrupting the voice vote asking if they were voting to approve an FBI investigation.
Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley clarified that the vote was to advance the nominee to the full senate and reminded both Flake and clamoring Democrats that a decision on delaying the vote or calling for a one week delay for an FBI investigation would be up to ranking members of the Senate, Democrat Charles Schumer and Republican Mitch McConnell.
It’s not yet clear whether Republicans now have the floor votes necessary to force a vote without such a delay.