Law & the Courts

Kavanaugh Nomination Passes Senate Judiciary Committee

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, September 27, 2018. (Andrew Harnik/Reuters)

The Senate Judiciary Committee moved Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Senate floor Friday in a party-line vote.

The Judiciary Committee vote was delayed after Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona said he would consent to move the confirmation to the floor, but would only support Kavanaugh’s confirmation if the full Senate’s vote was delayed for one week to allow the FBI to investigate the sexual-assault allegations against the nominee.

Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters following the hearing that the GOP does not have the 50 votes required to confirm Kavanaugh and likely will not secure the votes until the FBI probe Flake requested has been carried out.

President Trump said moments after the hearing that he would order an FBI probe if Republican leadership requested one.

Flake’s request came hours after he released a statement in which he committed his support to Kavanaugh.

“What I do know is that our system of justice affords a presumption of innocence to the accused, absent corroborating evidence. That is what binds us to the rule of law,” the statement read. “While some may argue that a different standard should apply regarding the Senate’s advice and consent responsibilities, I believe that the Constitution’s provisions of fairness and due process apply here as well. I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.”

Judiciary Committee Democrats maligned their Republican colleagues Friday morning during the hearing for refusing to urge Trump to order an FBI investigation, citing the multiple witnesses to the alleged assaults who have issued statements but have not been interviewed.

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