Republican Senators have their groove back when it comes to judicial confirmations. With the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court complete, the Senate Judiciary Committee is pivoting to filling the rest of the federal courts. They’re eyeing up more than 40 district and circuit court judges they plan to confirm before the end of the year. Of particular interest to Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley is filling the D.C. Court of Appeals spot left open by the departure of Kavanaugh—the court is regarded as second in influence only to the Supreme Court. And committee members, inspired by the successful Kavanaugh brawl, are willing to burn the midnight oil to get the job done.
—QUOTABLE: “McConnell ought to keep the Senate in session until we get all 41 of those judges done.” -Grassley
—QUOTABLE: “I think we will easily get through them by the end of the year. If not, we will be here Christmas Day.” -Sen. John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana
Fence-sitting Republican senators Susan Collins and Jeff Flake appear satisfied with the newly released FBI report probing Brett Kavanaugh’s background. The probe was ordered by the White House after the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full senate amid allegations of sexual impropriety.
Collins said: “It appears to be a very thorough investigation but I’m going back later to personally read the interviews.”
And Flake said: “We’ve seen no additional corroborating information.”
Both are moderate Republicans thought to be the critical swing votes that will determine whether the Senate will vote to confirm Kavanaugh in an expected Saturday floor vote.
Meanwhile, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley urged the senate to end this and just take the vote: “I trust that career agents of the FBI have done their work independent of political or partisan considerations. That’s exactly what senators from both sides asked for. Now it’s up to senators to fulfill their Constitutional duty and make a judgement.”