Brett Kavanaugh’s fate and the future make up of the Supreme Court hang in the balance as the Senate Judiciary Committee votes Friday whether to move his nomination to the full Senate.
The decision comes after an emotional day of testimony in which the appeals court jurist adamantly denied disturbing accusations of sexual assault.
Christine Blasey Ford, a researcher and psychology professor who also appeared before the panel Thursday, insisted she’s “100 percent” sure Kavanaugh was her attacker. Ford claims she was assaulted at a Maryland house party by a drunken Kavanaugh in 1982, when they were both in high school.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is narrowly split with an 11-10 Republican majority and GOP members have professed their support for pushing Kavanaugh’s confirmation through.
Fallout from the remarkable testimony the pair delivered was was swift as two organizations whose support Kavanaugh had earlier received.
The American Bar Association urged the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate to delay the vote until the FBI could do a full background check on the assault claims — something President Donald Trump has refused to order.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed that Friday, telling reporters that Kavanaugh has already “been through six separate background investigations by the FBI.”
Late Thursday, the magazine of the Jesuit religious order in the United States withdrew its endorsement of Kavanaugh, saying the nomination was no longer in the interests of the country and “should be withdrawn.”
“If Senate Republicans proceed with his nomination, they will be prioritizing policy aims over a woman’s report of an assault,” the America magazine editors wrote. “Were he to be confirmed without this allegation being firmly disproved, it would hang over his future decisions on the Supreme Court for decades and further divide the country.”
Kavanaugh angrily and tearfully declared his innocence on Thursday after Ford methodically recounted the evening she says she attacked.
The full Senate could start taking procedural votes Saturday on Kavanaugh, setting up a final vote as soon as Tuesday.
“We’re going to move forward,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as he exited a private late night strategy session with Republican senators. “The committee is going to vote.”