Senate Democrats to vote against Kavanaugh ‘unless it involves a ‘bait-and-switch’
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have voted to send the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nominee to a vote that’s unlikely to result in a tie.
The committee voted 10-4 Wednesday to send Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate for a vote, but the vote was not expected to occur until Thursday.
The move means Democrats have the ability to block the confirmation of Brett J. Kavanaugh, who is now facing allegations of sexual assault.
Democrats on Thursday said they were confident the full senate will reject the nominee, a position the majority leader, Mitch McConnell, said in a statement that could be taken to the White House.
A majority of Democrats have voted against Kavanaugh before, including Sens.
Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, as well as Sens.
Tom Udall of New Mexico, Angus King of Maine and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
McConnell had already signaled he was planning to hold off on confirming Kavanaugh until the full chamber voted, telling the Associated Press in an interview Wednesday that he is not concerned about the potential for a tie vote.
The nomination would then go to the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, where a procedural vote would be needed to move it forward.
Democrats had sought a procedural fix for the vote in order to avoid a tie, but that effort failed to garner enough support to pass.
Democrats were initially worried the vote could result in Republicans blocking the nomination.
But the party has said it will hold firm on Kavanaugh despite his past sexual misconduct allegations.
“There is a chance that we could see a tie and the Senate could vote to reject Brett, which would be a bait-and: switch,” said Sen. Claire McCutcheon of North Carolina, who voted against a procedural delay in 2015 to send Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Judiciary Committee.
Democrats have accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting a young woman when he was in his 30s.
The Judiciary Committee had earlier approved a procedural change in a procedural move to move the nomination to a full committee vote.
McConnell has indicated he may not be able to approve a procedural floor vote to move Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the floor because of the controversy swirling around the accusations.
“I don’t have an inkling yet whether we’re going to see an up or down vote on Brett, but I am optimistic that we will, and that we’ll move forward on Brett,” McConnell told reporters Wednesday.
The full Senate is expected to vote on Kavanaugh’s name Thursday morning, when senators will be allowed to speak and answer questions about the confirmation process.