The vote passed narrowly, 51 to 49, but the Senate has decided move ahead with a final vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.
The Senate could vote as soon as Saturday, according to the BBC. Should the vote again fall 51 to 49, Brett Kavanaugh will become the next Supreme Court Justice. Kavanaugh, 53, is a current federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court is a lifetime appointment.
Kavanaugh has been constantly in the media following allegations of sexual assault brought against him by Christine Blasey Ford. She testified before the Supreme Court Judiciary Committee last week to tell her story. According to her testimony, Kavanaugh tried to force sex upon her while both were teenagers attending the same party in the early 1980s.
Since Ford came forward with her claims, two other women have stated that Kavanaugh displayed sexually inappropriate conduct toward them as well. Another woman came out earlier this week to tell a story related to her through Mark Judge, a close friend of Kavanaugh’s who has been a central figure in the accusations. Ford says that Judge was also present at the party during which she was assaulted.
Protesters have flooded Washington D.C. to speak out against Kavanaugh’s nomination. Many hold signs reading “Kava-Nope” and signs showing support for Ford and all women who have experienced sexual assault of any kind. Several protesters were arrested as recently as Thursday night, including comedienne Amy Schumer. She is related to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Nevertheless, the Senate will probably vote Saturday to confirm Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court Justice.
The Friday vote officially begins a 30-hour debate window in which senators discuss Kavanaugh and the nomination.
Everyone is eyeing a handful of key senators who may not vote along their traditional party lines. Among them is Joe Manchin (D-WV), who is likely to vote with the Republicans. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) represents the state with the highest sex crime rate in America. On Friday, she told reporters she is still making up her mind about which way to vote.
Susan Collins (R-ME), considered a key swing senator, announced Friday that she will vote yes on Kavanaugh’s confirmation, according to NBC.
There is but one chance for a stay of execution, as the saying goes. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) will not be at the Senate on Saturday. He’ll be walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding, USA Today reports. If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) senses that the confirmation vote will not pass without Daines, the vote could be delayed until Sunday or sometime next week.