I think it’s over for the Democrats. Judge Brett Kavanaugh most likely be confirmed as Supreme Court justice by the Senate as early as Saturday.
A procedural vote that will signal the final outcome will be taken Friday.
There appears to be nothing new in the FBI report on Kavanaugh, which was handed to the Senate Thursday morning. And Democrats, despite their best efforts, failed to drag any more skeletons out of Kavanaugh’s closet. At least, no scary ones.
Kavanaugh needs the support of no Democrats and all but one Republican to be confirmed. Only three Republican votes are questionable.
Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona has said he would support Kavanaugh if nothing new and terrible comes forth. So he’s a “yes.”
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is the pivotal vote, and I believe she will support Kavanaugh. Collins is a moderate in a state that demands moderation. And she’s pro-choice. But she’s still a Republican, and after observing her over the years, I believe she is generally a compassionate, fair-minded person of integrity. I don’t agree with her on everything, but I think she will come to the inescapable conclusion that the burden of proof is on Kavanaugh accusers – because, like this is America – and that the burden of proof has not nearly been met. She won’t destroy a man, his career and his family purely because of a political calculation. I think she’s a “yes.”
Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, I honestly don’t know. She’s a “maybe.” She does come from a pretty conservative state that might not like her sinking the chances for a conservative court, though.
Which brings us to the Democrats and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. This is a possible career-ending vote for him. He’s ahead in his reelection race by about ten points. But West Virginia went for President Trump by 42 points. The Supreme Court was a big part of the 2016 election. I just can’t see Manchin ignoring the will of the people in the state and risking his own reelection. I think he’s a “yes.”
The other fence-sitter is Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D. Again, a deep-red-state Democrat running for reelection. She’s trailing her Republican opponent by about ten points. A recent poll of North Dakotans found that they back Kavanaugh for the Court by 60-27 percent. Sounds like she’s a “yes” too, but I’m less sure about her.
Anything could happen. But unless it turns out that Kavanaugh has been running errands for the devil between hell and suburban Maryland, he will almost certainly be confirmed.
Actually, would that help with his Democratic support?