Politics

Judiciary Committee Scheduled to Vote Friday on Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court Nomination

Would be less than 24 hours after hearing testimony from judge, accuser Christine Blasey Ford

A Judiciary Committee vote on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh could come on Friday morning. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for 9:30 a.m. on Friday.

If the schedule holds, it means senators serving on the committee will be voting less than 24 hours after hearing testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, who was the first woman to come forward with a sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh.

Under regular order, a Friday vote would enable Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to proceed to the nomination and file a procedural motion on Saturday to break a potential filibuster. That would set up a key cloture vote for as early as Monday, Oct. 1.

“Committee rules normally require executive business meetings to be noticed three days in advance, so an executive business meeting is being noticed tonight in the event that a majority of the members are prepared to hold one on Friday,” a committee spokesman said in an email.

Leadership has told Republican senators to be available on Capitol Hill through the weekend to move the process along. Maintaining a quorum of GOP senators will enable McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, to maneuver around some potential procedural obstacles.

The schedule notice from the Judiciary Committee lines up with the timeline suggested earlier Tuesday by Republican Conference Chairman John Thune. The South Dakota Republican suggested a Kavanaugh floor vote could come Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Senate Judiciary ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Republicans’ scheduling of the vote showed they have no desire to consider the situation dispassionately. 

“First Republicans demanded Dr. Blasey Ford testify immediately. Now Republicans don’t even need to hear her before they move ahead with a vote. It’s clear to me that Republicans don’t want this to be a fair process,” she said in a statement. 

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