President George W. Bush has called in recent weeks a number of Senators perceived to be undecided regarding Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court to ask that they support the nominee.
While the core of the GOP caucus has continued to back Kavanaugh as multiple unsubstantiated allegations of sexual assault have been levied against him, Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake of Arizona remained undecided Thursday evening following Kavanaugh’s hearing before the Judiciary Committee.
Bush, recognizing Trump’s lack of influence with Republican centrists, has reportedly reached out to several of those undecided lawmakers, the Washington Post reports. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has also reportedly received a call from Bush due to his perceived willingness to break with the Democratic caucus in support of Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh assisted Bush during the Florida vote recount in 2000 and Bush nominated him to the D.C. Circuit in 2003. That nomination was delayed for three years, during which time Kavanaugh served as Bush’s White House Staff Secretary.
“He is a fine husband, father, and friend — and a man of the highest integrity. He will make a superb Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States,” Bush said when Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the high court was first announced. He later reiterated his support of Kavanaugh following Ford’s allegation.
The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Friday morning to move Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the floor. A procedural vote would then take place Saturday morning and, provided that passes, the whole body will vote on confirmation on Tuesday.
Reacting to the likelihood that Kavanaugh will be confirmed, Senate Democrats have already begun discussing emphasizing his impeachment ahead of the midterm elections in November.