With a Senate vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court just moments away, the White House is confident that President Donald Trump’s nominee will succeed in garnering enough votes to sit on America’s highest court.
When asked on Friday if the nomination would get the 51 votes needed for a simple majority, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was optimistic about Kavanaugh’s chances. “We sure hope so. I think we should.”
A final vote
“Moving into the weekend, we certainly hope the Senate will vote to confirm him,” Sanders added. With a full Senate vote scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Saturday, all eyes will be on the nation’s capital to see how the long-awaited vote plays out.
Even Kavanaugh was uncertain Friday morning if his nomination would pass muster in a procedural vote required to advance to a final referendum on the Senate floor. Friday’s vote to end debate and proceed was full of excitement and drama as Senate Republicans admitted to not knowing the outcome of the vote in advance, and several senators grappled with what they called the most difficult decision of their careers.
As it turned out, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) was the only Republican to vote against advancing the nomination. With a two-vote majority in the Senate, Republicans could only afford to lose one more party member.
However, it turned out that legislators like Sen. Susan Collins of Maine who were said to be on the fence concerning Kavanaugh were ultimately swayed to follow the party line. In another surprising turn of events, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) became the only Democratic senator to vote to advance the nomination.
The 11th hour
Of course, the nomination vote won’t necessarily meet the same results as Friday’s cloture vote, and Sanders said that the White House was keeping close tabs on key senators until the very end. “We’ve been in constant contact with a number of senators since this process began and we’re going to continue those efforts right up until the last minute because this is such an important moment in our country’s history,” Sanders told Fox News.
Fortunately for the Trump administration, the end result is beginning to look increasingly in their favor after Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Collins announced Friday that they would, in fact, be voting to confirm Kavanaugh. After a long and climactic speech announcing her decision, liberal political activist groups like Planned Parenthood and The Human Rights Campaign began attacking the senator, and crowdfunding campaign have already begun sprouting up to fund her future opponent in 2020.
The Trump administration’s decision to stand by their nominee didn’t always look like a wise one. After a second and third accuser came forward following initial allegations of sexual assault by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the decision to stick with Kavanaugh seemed like a disaster.
Be careful what you wish for
As it turned out, the additional allegations against Kavanaugh actually seemed to help reinforce his claims of innocence. After porn lawyer Michael Avenatti found a woman who claimed that Kavanaugh was at the center of high school gang rape allegations, Americans began to see the accusations for what they were — a coordinated campaign to smear Kavanaugh and defeat his nomination.
“Their rage-fueled resistance is starting to backfire,” Trump told an audience in Minnesota as events started to swing in Kavanaugh’s favor. “These people are loco.”
While Kavanaugh’s fate will be decided by Saturday afternoon, the full implications of his nomination are just beginning. Republicans have been mobilized by the efforts to defeat the Kavanaugh nomination, and Democrats now fear that they may have made a terrible mistake just ahead of crucial November midterms.