With all senators now decided, Kavanaugh confirmation looks likely

Posted at 10:26 PM, Oct 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-06 00:26:39-04

The suspense over whether Brett Kavanaugh will be the next Supreme Court associate justice is likely to end this weekend, after Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia became the final formerly undecided senators to announce their votes.

Sen. Susan Collins, the Maine Republican everyone had been waiting on to announce her vote, built up her support for Kavanaugh in a roughly 45-minute speech before concluding, “Mr. President, I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.”

Moments after Collins concluded her speech, Manchin tweeted, “I will vote to support Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.”

At this point, it’s hard to see how Democrats have enough support to tank Kavanaugh’s confirmation. The Senate is likely to vote late Saturday.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a moderate from Alaska, voted against advancing Kavanaugh in Friday morning’s procedural vote. Murkowski then indicated she will not vote for Kavanaugh in the final vote, which could take place Saturday.

“I did not come to a decision on this until walking into the floor this morning. I have been wrestling to—to really try to know what is fair and what is right and the truth is none of this has been fair,” Murkowski said Friday, adding, “I believe we are dealing with issues that are bigger than a nominee..”

“I believe that Brett Kavanaugh is a good man. I believe he is a good man, it just may be that in my view he is not the right man for the court at this time,” she added.

Manchin’s “yes” vote seemed likely after he voted Friday morning to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to a final vote. But Manchin said little Thursday and Friday to indicate what his final vote would be, after studying the FBI reportaddressing allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against the nominee.

On Friday, Sen. Jeff Flake, the Republican who stalled Kavanaugh’s nomination process by wielding his leverage to call for the FBI review, announced he would vote for Kavanaugh unless something major changes before Saturday.

Republican plans to confirm Kavanaugh could still be slightly complicated by the personal life of Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines, whose daughter is getting married out of town Saturday. It’s up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to determine when to hold the vote, according to Senate rules and whenever he thinks he has the votes.