The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote Friday on whether to recommend Judge Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court justice. It will be less than a full day after the judge and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, testify before the committee.
Democrats are crying foul over the swiftness of the vote, but it’s just another stall technique. Senator Jeff Flake is the only one the on the panel who acknowledges his vote will be determined after the testimonies are heard. Considering how much attention has been given to this confirmation process, it’s unrealistic to think he’ll need more than a night to sleep on it before voting.
In reality, this vote doesn’t make much of a difference. Even if Flake votes against Kavanaugh, chances are very strong the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will call for a confirmation vote by the Senate next week. He is not required to follow the recommendations of the committee.
The real question is whether or not McConnell and other Republicans can sway Senators Bob Corker, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins. If he can get their votes, chances are the confirmation will end in a tie if Flake votes against Kavanaugh, leaving the decision to Vice President Mike Pence. These four Republican Senators are expected to be the only ones waiting until after the testimonies of Kavanaugh and Ford before deciding. No Democrats are expected to vote for Kavanaugh.
Adding drama to an already tense situation, Republicans will utilize a female counsel to question Ford. The all-male Republican portion of the panel does not want the optics they had in 1991 during the Anita Hill testimony.
The identity of the person who will lead the questioning is known only by Senator Chuck Grassley. He says he is keeping it a secret for her own protection.
Radio host Rush Limbaugh says if Republicans can’t get Kavanaugh confirmed, they will lose the midterm elections. President Trump echoed Limbaugh’s words in a Tweet.
Rush Limbaugh to Republicans: “You can kiss the MIDTERMS goodbye if you don’t get highly qualified Kavanaugh approved.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2018
As some have noted, the Supreme Court is the biggest reason conservatives were willing to vote for Donald Trump. If the GOP can’t see this through, there will be backlash from the right and gloating from the left.