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Brett Kavanaugh confirmation vote: GOP very bullish

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WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 6: Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the third day of his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill September 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy on the court left by retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew
Angerer/Getty Images


  • Republican leaders expressed confidence they will be
    able to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has
    been embroiled by allegations of sexual misconduct.
  • A hearing is set for Thursday, where Kavanaugh will
    testify once again in an attempt to clear his name against
    accusations he sexually assaulted a teenage girl while he was
    in high school in the early 1980s.

WASHINGTON — Republicans are bullish on their chances of confirming Judge Brett
Kavanaugh
to the Supreme Court, signaling the vote will come
soon after the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday to
feature testimony from both the nominee and the woman accusing
him of sexual assault when they were both teenagers, Christine
Blasey Ford.

Senators were told during their weekly policy lunch on
Tuesday that they should expect to work through the weekend to
process Kavanaugh’s confirmation, according to multiple
Republicans.

Republican leaders showed confidence on Tuesday, vigorously
defending Kavanaugh during their weekly press conference. There
is reason to be confident, as some of the Republican senators on
the fence about Kavanaugh and those who requested a vote be
delayed when the allegations first surfaced have maintained a
positive outlook on the nominee. 

“I enter it again with very positive feelings about the
nominee and know this is a process that needs to be handled in an
appropriate way,” Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker said. “So I don’t
enter it with negative thoughts. But it’s important enough to me
that I watch the entire process take place.”

President Donald Trump excoriated Democrats for their
handling of the process
on Tuesday, telling reporters in New
York that Kavanaugh is being smeared by Democrats and the lawyers
representing Ford.

“I think it is horrible what the Democrats have done,” Trump
said. “It is a con game, they are really con artists. They are
trying to convince — they don’t bite, they don’t believe it
themselves. They know he is a high quality person, they don’t
believe it, it is just resist and obstruct.”

And Kavanaugh himself said he would not withdraw from the
nomination. In a
letter
to the Republican and Democratic heads of the
Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh said he would not bow out and
would clear his name in the Thursday hearing.

“I have devoted my career to serving the public and the
cause of justice, and particularly to promoting the equality and
dignity of women,” he wrote in the letter. “Women from every
phase of my life have come forward to attest to my character. I
am grateful to them. I owe it to them, and to my family, to
defend my integrity and my name.” 

Republicans feel urgency to confirm Kavanaugh

Republicans feel moving Kavanaugh’s confirmation through in
a speedy fashion is necessary for a number of reasons:

  • From a political perspective, many Republicans
    worry failure could drastically hurt their chances
    of
    keeping their already slim majority in the Senate, as well as
    affecting Republican turnout up and down the ballot.
  • In addition, the Supreme Court’s next term begins on Monday,
    increasing the urgency for Republicans to place Kavanaugh on the
    bench.
  • Confirming Kavanaugh before the term begins would avoid
    potentially controversial split decisions, like those seen when
    Republicans held open the seat left vacant when Justice Antonin
    Scalia died in early 2016.

 

And Republicans are pushing ahead no matter what, confident
they will be able to get him on the bench in time.

“I’m confident we’re going to win,” McConnell told
reporters on Tuesday. “I’m confident he will be confirmed in the
near future.”

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