Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are planning to go ahead with a scheduled vote on Friday to determine whether to recommend Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, for a full Senate vote, according to reporting from The Hill.
Republicans stepped out of a caucus meeting on Thursday evening, hours after a tumultuous and emotional day of hearings involving Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, a Palo Alto University psychology professor who alleged that Kavanaugh assaulted her in high school more than 35 years ago, per previous reporting from Inquisitr.
Republicans exited the meeting seemingly optimistic about the vote, although at least one senator from their party who is part of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, was still undecided.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters he was “very optimistic we’re going to succeed” in confirming Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) echoed those sentiments.
“I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be voted out positively,” Cornyn said.
If every Republican voted “yes” to confirm Kavanaugh in the committee vote tomorrow, his name would be sent to the Senate for a vote on Monday to end debate on the question of his nomination. That would allow for a full Senate vote to commence on Tuesday, at the earliest.
LATEST: Senate Judiciary Committee plans to move forward with tomorrow's 9:30 a.m. hearing on the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh, says Sen. Grassley.
— ABC News (@ABC) September 28, 2018
The Judiciary Committee plans to vote Friday at 9:30 a.m. on Kavanaugh. If Flake does vote “no” on him, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the end for the nominee — other parliamentary procedures could allow McConnell to move for a full Senate vote without the committee’s endorsement.
At that point, at least four senators who are on the fence about Kavanaugh could determine his fate, according to Bloomberg. Three Republicans — Maine Sen. Susan Collins, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and Flake — have indicated they’re still undecided about Kavanaugh at this point. One Democratic lawmaker, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, may thwart the rest of his party and vote in favor of Kavanaugh.
Those four senators emerged from a separate meeting among themselves on Thursday, presumably to discuss Kavanaugh’s nomination. After the conclusion of that meeting, Manchin spoke to reporters and announced that no decision between the four had been reached at this point.
“We’re still talking,” Manchin said. “There’s no decisions made on anything I can assure you of that.”
If Kavanaugh’s nomination reaches the full Senate floor, Republicans can only afford to lose one of their own senators to guarantee his confirmation, assuming Manchin sides with Democrats voting against the nominee.