Christine Blasey Ford stepped before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday to give her testimony, which was aired lived across multiple networks. Trump Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh gave his testimony later in the afternoon, and the dust still hasn’t settled on social media sites.
Everyone is still digesting everything that happened during the two very distinctly different testimonies, and people are still weighing in on what they think was said and what they think it means. So what happens next with the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation and everything else that’s happening all around it?
Prior to the Thursday hearing, the Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled a vote on the Kavanaugh confirmation for Friday morning. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chair of the committee, has not indicated in any way that this scheduled vote will change, according to Vox.
But if Grassley does decide to delay that vote in light of all the anger surrounding Kavanaugh and the many questions that still linger, it may not even matter. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) could call to have the confirmation vote brought to the floor of the Senate as early as this Saturday.
In the normal course of events, Kavanaugh’s confirmation would not be voted upon in the Senate until Monday or Tuesday. However, McConnell can choose to force the issue as the Majority Leader.
It is extremely unlikely that the vote will happen Saturday, however, because this move would require unanimous consent. That means that all 100 Senators would have to affirm Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Senate, which has never happened. The closest any nominee ever got was Sandra Day O’Connor in 1981. She was confirmed with a vote of 99 to 0.
In the matter of Supreme Court nominees, the Senate Judiciary Committee plays a pivotal role. They essentially have three options: to recommend approval of the nomination, recommend rejection of the nomination or to make no recommendation either way about the nomination, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
In the past, the Senate has overwhelmingly followed the recommendations made by the Senate Judiciary Committee in matters of Supreme Court nominations. After the committee makes its recommendation, something they have failed to do only three times in history, an open debate is held in the Senate.
Until April 2017, unlimited debate was allowed in the Senate on this topic. Now, all that’s needed is a simple majority to end the debate and proceed with the confirmation vote. The Senate only needs 51 Senators to agree to do this.
For the confirmation vote, just 51 Senators are needed to make Brett Kavanaugh the next Supreme Court Justice. In the event of a tie, as always, the Vice President of the United States will cast the deciding vote.