Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation procedure

Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation procedure

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) at the Tuesday briefing, Sept. 25, 2018, (Photo ©2018 Doug Christian)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called the agreement "a good deal." (Photo ©2018 Doug Christian/TMN)

On the Hill with Doug Christian

Oct. 2, 2018

Washington – Regarding the Senate’s confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, all eyes are on a triumvirate of Republican senators: Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.).

The “Gang of Three”, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calls them, is the focus of his attention, as he needs two of their yea votes to confirm Kavanaugh. McConnell is no longer vowing to “plow through” to a vote to confirm Kavanaugh, but instead is pushing for a more deliberative process after the FBI’s supplementary investigation.

If the FBI inquiry ends on Wednesday, McConnell can file a cloture motion that day to end debate. Cloture is a necessary step to end a senate filibuster.

That parliamentary procedure needs a layover day before it “ripens”, and Thursday would be a day of ripening.

On Friday, one hour after the Senate meets, the Senate can vote to “invoke cloture” or end debate. Opponents to Kavanaugh’s confirmation would have 30 hours to delay the process.

This weekend, after the 30 hours of “post-cloture” time expires, Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote can proceed with a simple majority.

Doug Christian, Washington


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