Reporters and political pundits are trying to decipher the meaning behind Friday’s procedural votes for Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.
In what is often routine, the chamber voted 51 to 49 to push Kavanaugh’s nomination to a final vote. Republicans were rejoicing after securing “the votes of two GOP senators and one Democrat who had not publicly announced their intentions before arriving to vote,” the Washington Post reports.
While the vote for a final vote (I know that sounds crazy, but that’s literally what it is) doesn’t confirm where senators will fall on the actual confirmation vote, Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), two of the Republican holdouts, voted to advance Kavanaugh, while Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) broke party lines and voted no. Red-state Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin III (W.Va.), who’s also up for re-election next month, had been undecided going into the vote. He was the lone Democrat to support Kavanaugh.
Many pundits believe Friday’s vote all but assures Kavanaugh will be busy being fitted for his Supreme Court robe and his voicemail will be changed to: “I told y’all these ‘Bamas weren’t going to hold me down!”
Collins announced before the procedural vote that she would be voting to advance Kavanaugh, but her final vote for his confirmation remains undecided. She said she will be announcing her vote later Friday.
“I will be voting yes on proceeding to the final confirmation vote and I will announce my intentions on how to vote later today,” Collins told reporters.
President Trump’s nomination for the Supreme Court was called into question after Christine Blasey Ford and two other women accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. The final vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation could happen Saturday.