Senator Steve Daines (R-Montana) may end up inadvertently endangering Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation if a vote is held this weekend.
The Associated Press is reporting that Sen. Daines has made it clear that he’ll be walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding on Saturday, regardless of whether or not the senate holds a vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Sen. Daines, who has supported Kavanaugh ever since President Trump nominated him this summer, told the AP he’s confident Kavanaugh will be confirmed despite his absence.
Senate Republicans announced earlier Thursday that they plan to hold a vote this coming Saturday to confirm the controversial Supreme Court nominee, following the FBI giving its investigation into the sexual misconduct accusations hounding Kavanaugh to Congress.
Currently, the U.S. Senate has 51 Republicans, 47 Democrats, and two independents who caucus with Democrats. With Daines gone, that leaves Republicans with just 50 votes, meaning that assuming all Democrats vote no on Kavanaugh’s confirmation — Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) has still not committed either way — the confirmation vote will fail if just one Republican votes no.
Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) appear more likely to vote in favor of confirming Kavanaugh following the FBI report, with Flake saying he saw no additional corroborating information backing up the sexual misconduct allegations, and with Sen. Collins characterizing the report as “thorough.” However, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has kept her cards close to her chest, and has not indicated one way or another if she’ll ultimately support Kavanaugh.
The last time a Supreme Court justice failed a confirmation vote in the senate was when Robert Bork was rejected in 1987, on a vote of 42-58. Bork, like Kavanaugh, was also a graduate of Yale Law School.
Nick Jewell is a freelance political writer, and a proud resident of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.