Kavanaugh Vote, Scheduled for Thursday, Is Officially Cancelled


As CNN reports, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has officially cancelled a planned hearing on Thursday that was expected to result in a vote on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

So what happens now? Amber Phillips of the Washington Post outlined three possible outcomes this morning, but the first one — the Senate proceeds as normal — appears to be off the table at this point.

Senate Republicans are in a tough spot trying to figure out how to proceed with Kavanaugh’s nomination process given the horrible optics that await if California Professor Christine Blasey Ford testifies about sexual assault allegations in front of a Senate Judiciary Committee that looks like this:

Image via CNN

One woman being judged on sexual assault allegations by 11 Republican men is not what you would call a good visual just weeks before the midterm election.

13 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. allyncooper says:

    Perhaps it won't be a visual at all. Christine Blasey Ford has not yet responded to the committee's invitation to appear before the committee this coming Monday. Brett Kavanaugh responded immediately to the invitation.

    Democrats have objected to the format of having just Kavanaugh and Ford as witnesses. The only other possible material witness would be Mark Judge, Kavanaugh's friend, who Ford has stated witnessed the alleged assault. In a letter through his attorney, Judge does not want to speak publicly about the matter.

    Judge states in the letter "In fact, I have no memory of this alleged incident. Brett Kavanaugh and I were friends in high school but I do not recall the party described in Dr. Ford's letter. More to the point, I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes."

    UPDATE: Ford has now stated through her attorney that she will not appear in front of the committee unless the FBI conducts a full investigation, which of course would delay a vote on Kavanaugh for an indeterminate time. The Dems real objective of delay in this matter is now laid bare, since Feinstein had this information in July (when it could have been investigated by the FBI then) and yet sat on it until after the hearings.

    • mamajama55 says:

      There are other ways to look at the situation than "Dems real objective of delay in this matter is now laid bare". The rush to confirmation was always suspect – clearly a partisan Republican strategy, and a way for *rump to make sure of having a "friendly" on SCOTUS to say that the President is above the law.

      I do think that Feinstein should have acted on this earlier, but given that the accuser wanted to stay anonymous at that time, Feinstein may have calculated that it would be a net loss in terms of discrediting Kavanaugh, and that there were stronger bases for discrediting him: withholding records of his time with Bush, his probable anti-Roe v Wade stance, lying under oath as a district judge, etc.

      There absolutely should be a full FBI investigation prior to a circus like the Anita Hill / Clarence Thomas hearing. Other women are probably going to come forward, as well.



    • JohnInDenver says:

      The letter from Ford's attorney urging a full FBI investigation also offered to talk with Grassley and Feinstein about how Ford can appear while protecting her family.  Presumably, Ford and her attorney would also like to know the format of a proposed appearance (one article I read said there was a proposal that the two appear in the committee room at the same time).  There was no clarity about what sort of statement would be expected or description of the format of follow-up questioning.

      In short, an emailed invitation to appear (apparently sent multiple times) is not the final word on her appearance.

      • notaskinnycook says:

        My concern, given Hatch's and Grassley's continuing presence on the committee, is that Kavanaugh will have softball questions lobbed at him, while she will be subjected to a murder board.

  2. RepealAndReplace says:

    They have also sent Orrin Hatch out to do his hatched job on Ford by announcing before hearing anything that he doesn't believe her

    It is like he is recycling the talking points from the 1991 confirmation hearing

  3. Zappatero says:

    Sorry, but Dem acquiescence in the Merrick Garland thievery cannot he ignored. This is a new fight and they had better keep fighting and quit giving Unanimous Consent to McConnell and Trump. 

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Following Zappatero's strategy may mean that the Dems lose senate seats, in November, in North Dakota, Indiana, West Virginia, and maybe Missouri. And same strategy may lead to Repubs keeping toss-up senate seats in Arizona and Nevada.

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        In Zappy World that is not a problem, CHB. Symbols are more important than substance.

        Better to have 45 (or even 40) hard-core LWNJ's making noise than a coalition of 51 center/left Democrats and independents making policy.


  4. Gray in Mountains says:

    Kavanaugh is toast. At least the next nominee probably will be less sure that Trump is immune to any legal enforcement.

  5. Genghis says:

    The strategy is pretty clear at this point. The GOP postponed the Senate Judiciary Committee vote and scheduled a new hearing at which both Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh were invited to testify. Of course, the GOP was well aware that their Einsatzgruppen would spring into action, which they did by harassing and death-threatening Ford and her family quite literally right out of their residence.

    So now Monday's Judiciary Committee hearing will consist of Kavanaugh giving his version of Clarence Thomas's 1991 "high tech lynching" speech, followed by a quick vote sending the nomination to the full Senate.

    The GOP line will be, "Hey, we gave Ford a chance to speak, but then she started attaching conditions and making demands, clearly for the sole purpose of delay."

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