Senate Republicans passed a major hurdle on Friday morning by voting 51-49 to advance the motion to file cloture, which ends all debate on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake of Arizona both voted “yes” to move Kavanaugh out of cloture, but Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted “no.”
These three GOP Senators are crucial swing voters, and their votes will determine whether Kavanaugh is officially confirmed to the Supreme Court.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who is in a red state that President Donald Trump won big in the 2016 presidential election, also voted “yes.”
So, three out of four key Senators voted to advance Kavanaugh to a final vote. That’s big news, and could mean that the SCOTUS nominee has the votes to be confirmed.
Senate has reached threshold needed to advance Kavanaugh nomination to confirmation vote but this cloture vote is ongoing.
Key votes: Collins, Flake and Manchin YES, Murkwoski NO.
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) October 5, 2018
Now that the Senate has officially passed cloture, a final vote on Kavanaugh with all 100 Senators will be scheduled for either Saturday night or Sunday.
Republicans control a 51-49 majority in the Senate, and need a simple majority — meaning 50 votes — to confirm Kavanaugh.
Given that Flake, Collins, and Manchin voted “yes” to move Kavanaugh out of cloture, it would appear that the GOP has the numbers to officially confirm Kavanaugh when the final vote is held over the weekend.
Collins is scheduled to hold a press conference at 3 p.m. ET on Friday, where she will announce her final decision on whether she will vote to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
If Kavanaugh gets 50 votes during the final hearing his weekend, he will be the next Supreme Court Justice.