Moments ago, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-10 to forward Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation as the next Supreme Court justice to the entire Senate for a vote. The eleven “aye” votes were all Republicans, the ten “nay” votes all Democrats.
Before the vote was taken, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) stipulated that he was willing to vote affirmatively on the proviso that a week-long FBI investigation be conducted. Before the vote, Flake had met with Democratic senators with whom he claimed to agree that such an investigation represented “due diligence.”
The call for such an investigation can be made only by the Senate leadership. If it is made, I find it hard to envision a scenario whereby the FBI would agree to be constrained by — or could comply with — a one-week deadline. If the agency uncovers new evidence, it is going to want to follow that thread out to its conclusion.
The resulting delay would have the effect of prolonging the ten days of hell to which the Kavanaugh family has already been exposed.
The Democratic committee members insist this is not another stall tactic, but now that they have enlisted Flake as a front man, it hardly matters whether it is or isn’t. If the demand for an investigation is not acceded to, Flake will vote against the confirmation, and so, in all likelihood, will Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, likely leaving the GOP short of the needed votes.