Bench Memos

Floor Vote on Kavanaugh

Senator Frist has committed to do everything in his power to get Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit confirmed by Memorial Day (Monday, May 29).  Except in the highly unlikely case that all senators soon consent to a time agreement on debate and final vote on the Kavanaugh nomination, Frist will need to file a cloture petition.

 

If I understand the cloture rules correctly, the vote on cloture would take place on the second calendar day after the petition is filed, one hour into the Senate session on that day.  After a successful cloture vote, an additional 30 hours of debate on the nomination would be permitted. 

 

I don’t know how deep into next week the Senate plans to stay in session, but it would seem that the cloture petition would have to be filed on Tuesday at the latest—and probably ought to be filed on Monday.  While Democrats, following a successful cloture petition, could waive much of the additional 30 hours of debate, it would seem that they could inflict a lot of inconvenience on Republicans by not waiving any time.  All but a few Democrats could head home, while the few that remain would take turns on the Senate floor objecting to any further unanimous-consent agreements.  Meanwhile, virtually all the Republicans would need to remain in D.C. in order to ensure a quorum.

 

My predictions:  Frist will need to file a cloture petition on Kavanaugh; the vote on cloture will succeed; and Kavanaugh will be confirmed by the end of next week. 

Ed Whelan — Ed Whelan is a leading commentator on nominations to the Supreme Court and the lower courts and on issues of constitutional law.

Most Popular

PC Culture

‘White Women’ Becomes a Disparaging Term

Using “white men” as a putdown is no longer extreme enough for the Left. Now it is moving on to doing the same for “white women.” How rapidly this transpired. It was less than two years ago that the approximately 98.7 percent of white women working in media who were openly rooting for Hillary Clinton ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The World Keeps Not Ending

We were not supposed to have made it this far. George Orwell saw night descending on us in 1984. Orwell was, on paper, a radical, but in his heart he was an old-fashioned English liberal. He dreamed of socialism but feared socialists. He feared them because he knew them. I was in the sixth grade in 1984, but I ... Read More
Culture

A Free People Must Be Virtuous

Dear Reader (Even those of you who didn’t seem to notice or care that I failed to file this “news”letter on Friday), So I’m sitting here at Gate C6 at O’Hare waiting for my flight home. I am weary, pressed for time, in desperate need of a shower, and filled with a great sense of dread for the work ... Read More