Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has filed cloture on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court, paving the way for the final votes to be cast by the Senate confirming him to the nation’s highest court.
The expected schedule is the cloture vote on Friday, followed by the confirmation vote on Saturday. Cloture is the procedural vote that officially ends the debate on Kavanaugh, and the step that no longer requires a filibuster-proof majority in order to overcome, thanks to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) invoking the “nuclear option” in 2013 and allowing confirmation votes on Supreme Court and other federal judges to proceed on a mere majority vote.
Thanks to all of you who encouraged me to consider filibuster reform. It had to be done.
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) November 21, 2013
No, really, thank you, Senator Reid. Most sincerely, we send our gratitude. If Senate Republican Leaders haven’t already sent you their thank you notes, they’re long overdue.
If you thought the news cycle during the past few days was a wild ride, fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy three days, to borrow Bette Davis’ famous line from All About Eve.
As McConnell pointed out in the statement he released tonight, Kavanaugh has been the subject of seven FBI background investigations, authored over three hundred judicial opinions during his twelve years on the D.C. Circuit, turned over “[m]ore than 500,000 pages of documents for review — the most produced for any Supreme Court nomination in our history, responded to “[m]ore than 1,200 responses to written questions from members,” and participated in “[s]ixty-five private meetings with Senators” — plus the five days of public hearings.
But Democrats continue to call for delay, claiming they need more time and more information, demanding additional investigations into a nominee against whom many swore their opposition even before they knew his name.
So, game on. Let’s have these votes.
Leader McConnell’s full statement on filing cloture:
This evening, the Senate will receive the results of the FBI’s supplemental background investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. This is now the seventh time the FBI has looked into Judge Kavanaugh’s background. And this information comes on top of what has already been one of the most thorough and most exhaustive Senate reviews of any Supreme Court nominee in the entire history of our country.
Five days of public hearings. Sixty-five private meetings with Senators. More than 1,200 responses to written questions from members. More than 500,000 pages of documents for review — the most produced for any Supreme Court nomination in our history. And the 300-plus opinions Judge Kavanaugh has issued during his 12 years on the D.C. Circuit.
And now, Senators will have the evidence collected by this additional background investigation for their consideration as well. Members will have the opportunity to review the investigators’ records. And, as is the standard procedure, designated Judiciary Committee staff members with the required clearances will be authorized to brief members.
There will be plenty of time for Members to review and be briefed on the supplemental material before a Friday cloture vote. So I am filing cloture on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination this evening so the process can move forward, as I indicated earlier this week.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.