The Senate voted 51-49 to invoke cloture on Friday morning, meaning there is now a 30-hour window for senators to hold a final vote on U.S Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. While Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska opposed advancing Kavanaugh’s nomination, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Viriginia joined with every other GOP lawmaker on Friday to advance it.
With the Senate set to hold a cloture vote on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court as early as Friday morning, heightened attention is on the widespread opposition—in some cases, from unexpected sources—that Kavanaugh has provoked with his judicial record, documented perjury, multiple allegations of sexual assault, and how he behaved at a Senate hearing last week to address these allegations.
Mass protests against Kavanaugh’s confirmation have broken out on Capitol Hill and nationwide in recent days, led by progressive advocacy groups, sexual assault survivors, and Democratic lawmakers fiercely opposed to the nominee, but with a final vote apparently imminent, calls for rejecting Kavanaugh also have come from retired Justice John Paul Stevens, Kavanaugh’s Yale drinking buddies, and a growing number of law professors across the country—including many from his alma mater.
Although there is some speculation that a cloture vote may be rescheduled following reports that Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana plans to attend his daughter’s wedding on Saturday no matter the Senate schedule, if a cloture vote succeeds Friday morning, senators would be limited to a 30-hour window for remaining debate on Kavanaugh’s confirmation and required by the chamber’s rules to hold a final vote on Saturday. A few key lawmakers from both sides of the aisle still have not publicly said which way they’ll vote.
Groups or individuals who have come out against Kavanaugh’s confirmation include:
Retired Justice John Paul Stevens
During an onstage interview at an event in Boca Raton, Florida on Thursday, the retired Justice Stevens—a lifelong Republican—withdrew his support for Kavanaugh, reportedly telling the audience of retirees that “his performance in the hearings ultimately changed my mind.” Stevens said the nominee’s comments during the latest hearing demonstrated political bias that could impact Kavanaugh’s decisions on the high court.
Charles Ludington, Lynne Brookes, and Elizabeth Swisher, who described themselves as Kavanaugh’s “college classmates and drinking buddies” while they all attended Yale in the mid-1980s, have separately spoken out to dispute the nominee’s statements made under oath regarding his alcohol habits during those years. In an op-ed published Thursday, they collectively reasserted that he lied to senators and should not be confirmed.
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