The Final Vote to Confirm Kavanaugh Will Be Delayed. Maybe.

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have voted to advance Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to a full Senate vote, but Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) says he won't vote to confirm Kavanaugh unless the vote is delayed for a week to allow the FBI to reopen their background check investigation of Kavanaugh.

Jeff Flake alone can't force Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to delay the vote, but Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) says she is standing with Flake.

From the Associated Press:

After huddling privately with his colleagues, Flake announced that he would vote to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate only if the FBI were to investigate the allegations against the judge. Democrats have been calling for such an investigation, though Republicans and the White House have insisted it’s unnecessary.

Flake said that after discussing the matter with fellow senators, he felt it “would be proper to delay the floor vote for up to but not more than one week.”

If Flake and Murkowski (and possibly one or two others) stand by their word and force a delay in the final vote, that doesn't necessarily mean Kavanaugh won't be confirmed in the end. It also remains to be seen if they will stand by their word and I for one am skeptical.

It's also possible Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will ignore their threats and proceed with a final vote on Monday.

Regardless of how this turns out, none of this would be happening right now if these two women had not personally confronted Flake this morning.

The Daily Beast spoke to one of the women who confronted Flake.

Maria Gallagher, 23, had come to the Hart Senate office building on Friday morning to protest the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. And as part of her responsibilities, she’d been tasked with camping out outside of Sen. Jeff Flake’s office to somehow, someway, persuade him to vote no. [...]

She had never expected to relay the most emotional moment of her life to a United States senator. She had never actually told anyone before. It had just come out, right there, in front of everyone, soon to be broadcast on national TV.

Her mother had called her after seeing it on cable. Even she had not known. Gallagher needed to step outside to go and talk to her about it. “This won’t be an easy conversation,” she said.

  • Tony Lavely

    At 830 or so, Twitter (an uncannily reliable source, as we all know) reports that the orange gibbon has directed the FBI to do their thing, for a week.

  • muselet

    This is good news, I suppose, but it will matter only if a couple of R senators use the expanded background check to 86 Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination.

    For now, it looks more than a little like Jeff Flake is giving his reputation a buff and polish before he goes forth and gets hired by some Righty think tank as its token contrarian (“He didn’t vote in lockstep absolutely every time, you know.”).


  • gescove

    I’m skeptical as well. We know the “concessions” that Collins extracted from McConnell in exchange for her ACA vote were summarily ignored. And it’s not as if Flake managed to make an actual motion and have it acted on by the Judiciary Committee. Grassley, McConnell — indeed, every R in the Senate — care not a whit about protocol, procedure, or precedent. Still, I’m happy to clutch at a tiny ray of hope.

  • katanahamon

    I still worry that limiting an investigation is counterproductive to obtaining the truth, and is simply a delaying tactic to still achieve their goal of getting this extremist on the Court. This is yet another sad debacle proving these right wingers have no regard for the truth, Constitution or the American people.