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.