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Senate Judiciary to vote Friday on Kavanaugh nomination, potential to start approval vote Saturday

Protesters in support of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh hold signs while demonstrating ahead of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington on Sept. 27, 2018. CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Andrew Harrer.
Protesters in support of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh hold signs while demonstrating ahead of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington on Sept. 27, 2018. CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Andrew Harrer.

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans huddled privately late Thursday and will move forward with a Judiciary Committee vote Friday on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for a seat on the Supreme Court, GOP senators leaving the meeting said.

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander said Republican senators have been told to prepare for a series of procedural votes Saturday to allow a Monday cloture vote on the nomination.

The decision came after almost nine hours of testimony from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who has alleged that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and covered her mouth as he sexually attacked her at a high school gathering decades ago. Ford is one of several women who have accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

“I think it’s time to vote,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas said before the GOP meeting. “The longer the nomination remains open, we know more and more of these scurrilous, anonymous and uncorroborated allegations will be made.”

Delaware Sen. Chris Coons is one of many committee Democrats who want to delay the vote so that the FBI can look into the allegations.

“I think we owe it to the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, to the reputation of Judge Kavanaugh, and most importantly to a number of women who have come forward with alarming allegations, to actually investigate them thoroughly rather than a one-day hearing with only two sworn witnesses,” Coons said.

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(Niels Lesniewski, Patrick Kelley and Katherine Tully-McManus contributed reporting.)

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