NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, October 5th, 2018

U.S. Senate advances Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to a final vote with Manchin’s help

The Unit­ed States Sen­ate has vot­ed by the nar­row­est of mar­gins to end debate on Brett Kavanaugh­’s nom­i­na­tion to the U.S. Supreme Court and pro­ceed to a final vote, mov­ing the Par­ty of Trump clos­er to its goal of adding a mil­i­tant right wing jus­tice on the Supreme Court bench to replace Antho­ny Kennedy.

Despite the out­come of the just-held pro­ce­dur­al vote, Kavanaugh­’s con­fir­ma­tion is still not a sure thing because some of the sen­a­tors who vot­ed for Kavanaugh a few min­utes ago haven’t pledged to sup­port him in a final vote.

Every Demo­c­ra­t­ic sen­a­tor except for Joe Manchin vot­ed to block Kavanaugh­’s nom­i­na­tion, and every Repub­li­can sen­a­tor except for Lisa Murkows­ki vot­ed to move it for­ward. This result­ed in a roll call vote of fifty-one to forty-nine.

Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Susan Collins and Jeff Flake have not defin­i­tive­ly said how they’ll vote on final con­fir­ma­tion. Collins has said she’ll announce her deci­sion lat­er today. Murkows­ki would seem to be a no based on her pro­ce­dur­al vote.

As for Manchin, it would seem he has thrown his lot in with Trump. Of course, he could switch his vote on final con­fir­ma­tion and say his pro­ce­dur­al yes vote was only in sup­port of giv­ing Kavanaugh con­sid­er­a­tion by the Sen­ate.

If Manchin sup­ports Kavanaugh­’s con­fir­ma­tion, then Murkows­ki, Collins, and Flake would all need to vote nay in order for the nom­i­na­tion to fail, because Mike Pence can break a tie in favor of Don­ald Trump and Mitch McConnell.

The roll call from the Pacif­ic North­west on the pro­ce­dur­al vote was not along par­ty lines because Lisa Murkows­ki vot­ed nay.

VOTING AYE: Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Mike Crapo and Jim Risch (ID); Dan Sul­li­van (AK), Steve Daines (MT)

VOTING NAY: Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Pat­ty Mur­ray and Maria Cantwell (WA); Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley (OR), Jon Tester (MT); Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Lisa Murkows­ki (AK)

Mon­tana’s Steve Daines has pre­vi­ous­ly said he would not be in D.C. tomor­row no mat­ter what due to the wed­ding of his daugh­ter, which threat­ened to put Mitch McConnell and Repub­li­cans in a big bind since they can’t spare any votes.

How­ev­er, a few min­utes ago, Daines tweet­ed: “Just cast my vote for Judge Kavanaugh get­ting him one step clos­er onto #SCOTUS. We spoke last night, and I assured him, I will be back to vote YES this week­end if need­ed. Look­ing for­ward to call­ing Judge Kavanaugh, Jus­tice Kavanaugh.”

What Daines seems to be say­ing is he’ll make Kavanaugh­’s nom­i­na­tion his pri­or­i­ty, even if that means upend­ing his daugh­ter’s wed­ding plans.

Got­ta love the Par­ty of Trump.

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