WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said he hopes Supreme nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed on Saturday.
“Hopefully we’re 48 hours away from having a new person on the Supreme Court,” Grassley (R-Iowa) said at a news conference on Thursday where he was accompanied by fellow Judiciary Committee Republicans who eschewed similar sentiments.
“We need to confirm him right away,” Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said.
Hatch added: “His confirmation will be a victory for the Senate as an institution [and] a reminder that the politics of baseless personal destruction has no place here.”
Early Thursday morning the committee received a supplemental FBI report into allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh.
Shortly thereafter Grassley said in a statement that the report exonerates Kavanaugh of any wrongdoing.
Members were invited to view the report in a secure room for up to one hour. Only one copy was made available to the 100 senators.
Senate Democrats criticized the report as incomplete and called for some of the documents to be released with redactions.
The request was denied.
Kavanaugh was approved by the committee last week but an agreement was reached to delay the floor vote for one week so the FBI could investigate the allegations.
Kavanaugh has denied allegations of sexual misconduct.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filed a motion late Wednesday night to end debate on the nomination.
Under Senate rules, once a cloture petition is filed an intervening day is required for the petition to ripen. Once the petition ripens the Senate may vote on a motion to invoke cloture one hour after the Senate convenes. Once the motion is adopted, 30 hours of debate are allowed. Once debate time has expired a final vote may take place.
A procedural vote is expected Friday morning and a final vote is expected as early as Saturday afternoon.
At present count Kavanaugh has the support of 48 of 51 Senate Republicans. If all 49 Senate Democrats vote no, Kavanaugh will need two more Republicans to vote yes. That would enable Vice President Mike Pence to enter the fray and cast the tie-breaking vote.