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GOP Is Going Ahead With Friday Vote on Kavanaugh

Jeff Flake says he's still making his mind up
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2018 1:33 AM CDT
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., questions Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018.   (Win McNamee/Pool Photo via AP)
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(Newser) – The future of Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination is unclear after Thursday's dramatic hearing—but Republicans still plan to hold a Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Friday. GOP Sen. John Cornyn said after a Thursday night meeting that the plan is to hold a vote Friday, paving the way for a final Senate confirmation vote as soon as Tuesday, the Hill reports. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans are "very optimistic we're going to succeed," though committee member Sen. Jeff Flake is still undecided. "They both did well," Flake told reporters. "He offered a defense like you would expect from someone who felt they were wrongly accused and ... she offered compelling testimony as well." Flake, whose vote could swing the decision, said he is still thinking about it.

Kavanaugh got a boost after a meeting of the full GOP conference when Sen. Bob Corker announced that he will be voting to confirm. An insider tells Politico that Rachel Mitchell, the prosecutor Republicans hired to question Christine Blasey Ford, didn't tell the conference how to vote, but said as a prosecutor, she would not charge Kavanaugh based on Thursday's testimony. It's not clear how Kavanaugh would fare in a full Senate vote: Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins are still undecided, as are Flake and Democrats including Sen. Joe Manchin, who met privately with Collins, Flake, and Murkowski before the GOP conference. (An "ebullient" President Trump praised Kavanaugh's performance Thursday.)

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