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US Senate Could Hold Final Kavanaugh Vote Saturday
The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill an open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court is moving toward a final vote as early as Saturday.
First though, senators are on Thursday reviewing an FBI report on sexual harassment allegations Kavanaugh dated back to his teenager years.
Kavanaugh has denied the accusations.
The sharp partisan battle over the lifetime appointment to the nine-member court has polarized the U.S. Senate with the majority Republicans accusing Democrats of dragging out the process, while Democrats accuse Republicans are rushing to confirm Kavanaugh.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley said early Thursday the panel had received the FBI investigation report on these allegations. The report is confidential and senators will be allowed to read it in a special secure room in the Capitol. It is not clear what, if any, of the material will be made public.
the White House revealed it received and reviewed interview transcripts from the FBI. Officials claim the documents do not support one of the accusers, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s claims of attempted rape by Kavanaugh 36 years ago.
The White House said that after the “most comprehensive review of a Supreme Court nominee in history,” it is “fully confident” Kavanaugh will be confirmed.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he will then proceed with what is known as a cloture vote to officially end debate about Kavanaugh’s nomination. That procedural vote could happen as early as Friday morning and set up a final vote potentially Saturday.
Republicans hold a slight 51-49 majority in the Senate, and with Vice President Mike Pence playing the role of tie-breaker if necessary, they would need a minimum of 50 votes to confirm Kavanaugh.
If confirmed, Kavanaugh — an appellate judge and judicial conservative — would replace retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. The nine-member court is currently operating with eight justices.