Brett Kavanaugh

Senate Narrowly Advances Kavanaugh Nomination

The final vote is likely to take place this weekend.



The Senate voted today to advance the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. This was a cloture vote, ending floor debate on the nomination. A final vote is likely to take place over the weekend.

The cloture vote was mainly along party lines. Fifty-one senators voted yes, while 49 opposed the measure. But in the hours leading up to the vote, the outcome was uncertain. Forty-eight of 51 Republican senators were expected to vote yes, including Sens. Rand Paul (R–Ky.), Mike Lee (R–Utah), and Ben Sasse (R–Neb.) Likewise, 48 of 49 Democrats were believed to be certain nos.

Four senators were still undecided as of Friday morning: Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R–Alaska), Susan Collins (R–Maine), and Jeff Flake (R–Ariz.), plus Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W.Va.). Manchin, who voted yes, is up for reelection next month in a state President Donald Trump carried in 2016 by a 41-point margin.

Collins, who also voted yes on cloture, informed reporters of her plans minutes beforehand. She said she'll announce this afternoon how she'll vote on the confirmation itself.

Flake also voted yes, while Murkowski was a no.

Flake was largely responsible for last Friday's drama before the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve Kavanaugh's nomination. Flake originally said he would support the nominee. But moments before senators voted, he complicated things. Flake said that while he would vote yes in the committee, he wanted the Senate to delay its floor vote so the FBI could reopen its background check into Kavanaugh.

Flake got his wish. The FBI did indeed look into allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh. The bureau specifically probed the accusations of Christine Blasey Ford, who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when he was a student at Georgetown Prep, and Deborah Ramirez, who claims he exposed himself to her while they were both students at Yale.

The final FBI report, which has not been made public, contains "no corroboration of" Ford or Ramirez's allegations, according to an "executive summary" released by the office of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R–Iowa). But many Democrats challenged the findings, claiming the investigation was too limited in its scope.

Regardless, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) scheduled the cloture vote for Friday morning. "It's time," a GOP official told CNN prior to the vote. "It's never going to get any easier, so it's time to pull the trigger and get this done."

Kavanaugh's confirmation is not yet a done deal. But as CBS News notes, senators are not likely to change their vote now. If they supported ending floor debate on the nomination, they're likely vote to yes on the nomination itself. According to CNN's Manu Raju, though, there's a chance Collins' final vote may be different from her yes vote this morning.

On Thursday, Sen. Steve Daines (R–Mont.) said he'll be attending his daughter's wedding on Saturday, though he's willing to return to Washington, D.C. afterward. In any case, Vice President Mike Pence is reportedly on standby in Washington in case he needs to break a tie in the Senate.

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  1. I guess you still need more than an uncorroborated allegation and the relentless opprobrium of the elitist social justice warriors that run the Democratic party and their cronies in the media to make the American people turn their backs on our foundational principles about what it means to be a civil society. And I guess the senate vote confirms that.

    I still expect the Democrats to take the House come November, but if they still don’t learn their lesson from this, they can look forward to another six years of Donald Trump.

    1. I suspect the vote would have been identical even without any allegations.

      1. I remember hearing Murkowski might have been pressured by the Eskimos. Don’t know what beef (walrus?) they have with Kavanaugh but if so you’re right about her too; if not (I feel I also may have heard about battered women and so forth) perhaps not. She is the wild card after all. And I think she can vote however the fuck she wants because she is political royalty up there and I think they are pretty pro-incumbent.

        1. My point is that the allegations only seem to be confirming the position of those who were against Kavanaugh anyway. Murkowski was a likely no vote because she’s pro-choice. I guess we’ll never know for sure why she voted against him unless she makes some statement clarifying whether it was uncertainty about the allegations or something in his positions on cases (such as Roe). Someone should ask her, at least.

          1. Spoiler: Everyone who opposes him are only opposed to him, because of Roe v. Wade

            Rand Paul was the only senator who insisted that Kavanaugh clarify his position on the 4th Amendment. For everyone else, it’s about abortion

            1. Nonsense. I don’t much care about Roe one way or another. Nor did the allegations change my mind. I opposed Kavanaugh from the start because he was a purely partisan establishment-defending judge with no libertarian-leanings in his philosophy whatsoever. Fine for those who are loyal DeRps to support/oppose – just like they did in 2006 when he was confirmed to DC appeals on a partisan vote (when he also almost certainly lied about his policy role as Staff Sec in the White House) – but I don’t give a shit about the DeRp agenda and I oppose EVERY SC nominee who adds nothing to the Supreme Court beyond yet more DeRp.

            2. The SCOTUS will place a 13 week limit on murder. You know the same as other enlightened countries such as France, Denmark, etc.

        2. Eskimos are a minority group thus they hate Trump because Trump hates all minorities

          1. His racism is so pervasive it even extended to the diabolical plan where he sued to force his country club to admit blacks. How Machiavellian.

            Thirteen dimensional racist chess!

      2. Which suggests that you still need more than an uncorroborated allegation and the relentless opprobrium of the elitist social justice warriors that run the Democratic party and their cronies in the media to make the American people turn their backs on our foundational principles about what it means to be a civil society.


        If all that drama gets absolutely nothing that you wouldn’t have had without it, it’s probably because the voters, ahead of a midterm election, were also, largely, unmoved. In fact, the Democrats, if anything, probably lost ground in swing states over this. It may not have helped the key Democrats even in deep blue states.

        It may be interesting to see what happens to Feinstein in the next poll against the Democrat who is running against her. But it doesn’t really matter in the big scheme of things. Nationally, the Democrats have done themselves more harm than good, and they didn’t prevent Kavanaugh from being confirmed anyway.

        They would have done better to go after Kavanaugh on various principles–be it gun control or abortion. It almost certainly wouldn’t have put the Democrats in a worse position. Now they’re only coming across as pro-witch hunt, with their idea of a witch being any white man in a position of responsibility who drank beer in high school and subsequently gets accused out of the blue of having done something untoward 35 years ago.

        Not a winning strategy.

        1. Is there evidence to suggest that the people outraged over the Dems position on this issue contain the same people likely to vote in a Democrat primary? I would be surprised if Feinstein takes any shit from this.

          1. Hold onto your hat.

            Living in California gives you the privilege of voting for the top two vote getters in the primaries–regardless of which party they’re in.

            That’s right, if you want to vote for someone to go to the U.S. Senate in November, you get to choose between a Democrat and *drum roll* a Democrat.

            Feinstein’s opponent in the general election is a Democrat.

            1. Yeah? I didn’t know that. So are republicans and independents going to vote for the other democrat?

              1. Personally, I refuse to vote.

                Feinstein’s opponent has made public statements criticizing Feinstein for holding the evidence back for so long. He’s been saying that if Kavanaugh is confirmed, it’ll be because Feinstein waited so long to bring that information forward.

                I’d love to see Feinstein pay for misdeeds with her seat, but I can’t pull the lever for a progressive like that.

                I refused to vote for Trump because of his positions on free trade and immigration. I was thrilled to see Hillary shot down in flames anyway–without my participation. If I couldn’t bring myself to pull the lever for Trump (who is far better than progressives on all sorts of issues) against Hillary (who was far worse than Feinstein for a host of reasons), how can I pull the lever for a progressive against Feinstein?

                I suspect the Republicans who vote will pull the lever for Feinstein’s opponent. But if midterm elections draw fewer people generally, how many even fewer Republicans do they draw when the Republicans can’t even vote for a Republican to go to to the U.S. senate? There might be enough of them to make a difference, but I don’t know.

                1. Personally, I refuse to vote.

                  Me, too. I vote on everything where I have at least a semblance of a meaningful choice, but these Dem vs. Dem races I just leave blank.

                  And de Leon is scum. He’s easily as bad as Feinstein, which means she’s the better candidate because she’ll die sooner – as you point out, his criticism of Feinstein is that she didn’t pursue the allegations hard enough.

                  In terms of real views on things, Feinstein is practically Republican compared to de Leon.

            2. Feinstein’s opponent in the general election is a Democrat.

              It appears California Republicans are particularly pronounced losers.

              1. It appears that you’re a partisan hack.

              2. It doesn’t appear that way. But then you’re stupid and weak.

                Kill yourself.

        2. Yeah, I was essentially agreeing with you. The strategy didn’t work. It only might have partially worked if Murkowski was swayed, but I highly doubt it.

          1. I think the threats to her life to vote no, swayed Murkowski.

      3. This 100%.

        Kavanaugh was never any more than a purely partisan Republican pick – a fear-of-a-David-Souter not anything principled/philosophical. He was never INTENDED to get more than 52 or so votes. And since Dems were never supposed to vote for him anyway, they decided to try to delay the vote until after the Nov elections in hope that they could replicate the Merrick Garland strategy.

    2. I still expect the Democrats to take the House come November, but if they still don’t learn their lesson from this, they can look forward to another six years of Donald Trump.

      Just not enough superstitious rubes, authoritarian right-wingers, old-timey bigots, and disaffected losers left in America to pull off another Triple Lindy in the Electoral College.

      1. Trump has a better chance of winning this time than last time, and if the Democrats can’t pick a primary winner to run against him without that winner pontificating on how much they hate the white, blue collar, middle class, Christian, Midwestern swing voters in swing states that winning the presidency depends on? Then they’re in really bad shape to fight against Trump, who has tailored his policies since winning office to appeal to voters in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, western Pennsylvania–the swing states that put him in the White House the first time.

        The unemployment rate just hit its lowest rate since 1969, and much of that is coming from the rust belt. 1969, I think that might be from before they started calling it “the rust belt”. Think about that.

        The Democrats have to persuade those voters to support them in order to beat Trump.

      2. Tiresome troll is tiresome.

        1. Indeed. At least Tony shakes it up a bit. This guy is just a broken record. Not even worth poking, really.

          1. Arthur L. Hicklib has been unable to overcome his hayseed upbringing and still can’t get over it. It’s why he uses the same boilerplate phrases over and over.

            1. It’s like he’s done a key word search on the Daily Kos.

      3. Aren’t you worried that, after Election Day, Trump will start rounding up all the Democrats, gays, immigrants, and feminists and putting them in extermination camps, and that the courts will uphold him, now that Kavanaugh provides the fifth vote in favor of Naziism, and institute one-party rule? I mean, didn’t you always think that’s what the Republicans had in mind?

    3. your first sentence is exact. good thing, too.

  2. “But many Democrats challenged the findings, claiming the investigation was too limited in its scope.”

    Translation: The investigators should’ve wondered around some college campuses asking random women if any of them wanted to contribute to a good cause

    1. *wandered

      btw, “do you want to contribute to a good cause and keep kids like me off the street?” is one of Crusty’s favorite pickup lines

      1. “Wondered” works, too. But, yeah – a lot of Dems were declaring the investigation a fraud before it even started.

        1. What is curious is the clear doublethink going on in Democrat circles at the moment.

          They vacillate between ‘the FBI is an evil organization’ and ‘the FBI are saints’ on a near daily basis (Much like the Comey 180, only far more frequent).

          Don’t get me wrong, you’ll see the same disconnect with certain Republicans and/or conservatives but they at least differentiate between the leadership of the FBI and the rank-and-file most of the time. I haven’t seen many Democrats make that distinction.

          It’s almost like they’re flailing around because they honestly don’t know how to deal with a so-called Republican that stole their Midwestern voters because he actually meant it when he said he was looking out for them.

          I mean, sure, his method of ‘looking out for them’ isn’t libertarian in the slightest but it is what those voters actually want, as wrong as it may be. Hell, that’s basically the Democrat motto at this point.

    2. I think their main objection is that the FBI reportedly never spoke to any of the named witnesses or the complainants themselves.

      1. Spoiler: They talked to every witness that Ford claimed witnessed the incident

        1. It’s not a spoiler if the named witnesses release public statements via their lawyers prior to the initiation of the investigation.

          1. Some people seem to be under the impression that there are 50 witnesses somewhere, maybe, in some place who totes know the truth and they were totes silenced.

            The goal posts shift so fast, facts really are a spoiler

      2. They already have sworn statements from Ford and Kavanaugh.

        If they didn’t find anything in their investigation talking to other witnesses that conflicted with Kavanaugh’s sworn statement, why would they talk to him again?

        My understanding is that the FBI talked to all the named witnesses and none of them corroborated Ford’s accusations or gave testimony that conflicted with Kavanaugh’s statements.

        If Ford changed or added details at this point, I think that would probably hurt her credibility. She didn’t remember a detail that happened 35 years ago when she was on capitol hill, but she suddenly remembered it this week?

        1. Exactly

    3. “But many Democrats challenged the findings, claiming the investigation was too limited in its scope.”

      The investigation should never have ended until it found what the Democrats were looking for. Until the investigation found what the Democrats were looking for, the investigation would always remain incomplete.

      1. It’s a sham unless it proves what the Democrats want it to prove.

        1. It’s a sham because it didn’t let them push off the confirmation vote until the next session starts in January in the hope that they could gain control of the Senate in Nov and then refuse to even hold a vote on Kavanaugh.

  3. So they can only lose one more senator. Indeed, McConnell might give Collins his blessing if she really wants a No; I am becoming increasingly confident Manchin will remain a Yes. (Heidtkamp, it’s clear now, went Bullworth because she is too far behind. No idea what the fuck Donnelly or McCaskill is thinking.)

    1. Donnelly thinks he is safe and McCaskill thinks she is toast.

      1. Holy shit you’re right; I thought she was actually ahead in the polls, whereas she’s almost as far in the hole as Heidi.

        Joe Donnelly must know something no one else does if he thinks he can play with fire like this.

        1. I think Donnelly misplayed this. He isn’t that far ahead in the polls and he’s running in Indiana for Christ’s sakes

          1. He can still vote for confirmation, knowing now that he’s likely to be confirmed. It gives him something to run on when his opponent brings up the cloture vote. Most people have no idea what cloture is, or care.

          2. A hard right Sup Ct is bad news for the moderate Republicans.

            1. A hard right Sup Ct is bad news for the moderate Republicans.

              Too bad that any court that contains Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Gorsuch can’t possibly be even remotely hard right.

              1. No, no, no. Gorsuch was nominated by Trump, therefore he is automatically hard right. Duh!

            2. “A hard right Sup Ct is bad news for the moderate Republicans.”

              Why, upon reading that do I picture you sitting on the floor in a corner of a darkened room, arms wrapped around your knees, slowly rocking yourself back and forth?

              Hope it helps.

          3. I definitely don’t think he’s running for Christ.
            Might be a good suggestion to start saying that though, since he mishandled this whole fiasco terribly and probably knows he’s going to lose.

            1. *for the sake of Christ.
              Not sure Christ is an elected position

              1. Not officially but it does require a broad consensus

          4. The entire Democrat Party has bungled this whole process. DiFi should have kept the letter to herself, the Dems should have taken their lumps and confirmed Kavanaugh, and then used the outrage from their base to fuel a Blue Wave.

            Instead, their obvious political smear campaign infuriated the Republican base and gave them a huge incentive to show up at the polls next month.

            Based on current polling data, not only will the Repubs keep the Senate, but they will keep the House as well.

            1. And, given Dems incessant need to dilute the power of election day, a whole lot of those people are voting now

        2. I have avoided looking, but she had been in the lead last I checked. 52-44 with Hawley in the lead bodes ill for her, but it’s not really over, and we shouldn’t count out the track record of her GOP opponents finding a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    2. Claire’s thoughts will be her first.

  4. There was never any reason to expect an FBI investigation to produce any corroboration. That was the strongest argument against having one. We already had a ditzy accuser who was militantly short on specifics, and multiple named witnesses on signed affidavits denying it.

    Ramirez’ accusation was even dodgier.

    I would not be surprised at a 50-50 vote with Pence breaking the tie, since the Republican caucus has several retiring Senators who might relish an opportunity to give Trump the finger by way of Kavanaugh. But the insane campaign of frontal confrontations in public places has probably stiffened some spines.

    Why did they ever think that wouldn’t backfire?

    1. There was never any reason to expect an FBI investigation to produce any corroboration.

      Especially since it was conducted by people without impartiality.

      I remember years ago I got into a dispute with a credit card company. Eventually, I spoke to their legal department and they said they’d investigate whether their company did something wrong. I couldn’t help but laughing when they said that. The notion that it was an independent investigation is as absurd as the notion that the FBI can investigate Kavanaugh independently. Or that an investigation of a cop by folks who are on the same team as the cop is “independent”. It’s just a dog and pony show.

      So I agree. There was never any reason to expect an FBI investigation to produce much of anything.

      1. Damn, you’re desperate

        1. Desperate for what? I’m not opposed to Kavanaugh advancing for reasons of unsubstantiated SA allegations. I’m pointing out that the notion of an “independent FBI investigation” is a complete absurdity and always has been. I pointed this out when the Democrats were calling for one in the first place. It was a ridiculous tactic for them to take to begin with.

          1. So you agree, Russia Fever Dreams is bunk

            1. Well yeah. Not only do I doubt that Russia was behind it, I also find nothing objectionable about the fact that they revealed truth to the American public. Just like I don’t find anything objectionable about Snowden doing the same.

              1. …and more to the point, I doubt the FBI, CIA, or anyone else is going to 1) get the facts right; and 2) be truthful about what the facts are. They’re not incentivized to do so. Nor is it even part of their job description.

                1. I agree – in this case it’s not about the FBI being on “Team Blue,” which they are only to the extent that they hate Trump. It’s about both the FBI and Kavanaugh being on “Team Cop.”

                  1. And every last one of these assholes being on “Team Government.” We’re going to ask a government agency to investigate (at the behest of another government agency) a current employee of a government agency who wants a promotion into a different job at the government agency. The fact that the boss of the government agency who is doing the investigating is the same guy who is pushing for Kavanaugh’s promotion is only a secondary conflict, really. But it’s all one big sham, regardless.

          2. Fair enough

      2. Well, it could be pointed out that the Senate is fully empowered to do anything the FBI investigation could have done, but our fine Senators decided instead to sit on the accusation until the 11th hour. Probably because they are so deeply concerned about Dr Ford.

    2. We already had a ditzy accuser

      America is so great that it enables stale-thinking, spectrum-inhabiting, misogynistic mail order bride customers from its depleted backwaters to criticize their betters.

      1. Not being a sexist, I’m capable of recognizing that both men AND women span the spectrum from serious to drooling morons. And I’m not afraid to notice when somebody is pushing the wrong end of that spectrum.

        1. When anyone opens a statement with “Not being a ____,” I can’t help but think of this Simpsons bit.

      2. Arthur L. Hicklib reveals his parentage.

  5. >>>She said she’ll announce this afternoon how she’ll vote on the confirmation itself.

    pins and needles.

  6. “A friend of Christine Blasey Ford told FBI investigators that she felt pressured by Dr. Ford’s allies to revisit her initial statement that she knew nothing about an alleged sexual assault by a teenage Brett Kavanaugh, which she later updated to say that she believed but couldn’t corroborate Dr. Ford’s account, according to people familiar with the matter.

    Leland Keyser, who Dr. Ford has said was present at the gathering where she was allegedly assaulted in the 1980s, told investigators that Monica McLean, a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and a friend of Dr. Ford’s, had urged her to clarify her statement, the people said. ?

    On Thursday, a day after sending to the White House the report on its investigation into the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, the FBI sent the White House and Senate an additional package of information that included text messages from Ms. McLean to Ms. Keyser, according to a person familiar with the matter.”

    – WSJ (10/5/18)

    1. You guys really don’t want to discuss this, huh?

      1. Just so everyone is clear, Reason will call out false rape accusations, unless doing so endangers Roe v. Wade. That’s where their principles stop

        1. Why are you so sure this is The Explanation? They barely have talked about abortion; they don’t really talk about it that much as far as I know even though they only have that one pro-life lady left whose name I keep forgetting.

          1. I don’t know, what is the general objection to Kavanaugh?

            Only Rand Paul demanded that he clarify his position on the 4th Amendment

            1. Why did Collins vote for him then? (If indeed she will, which I remain on edge about.) There are plenty of hot issues out there besides abortion. Indeed the 4A is the one a libertarian is likely to be concerned about…but it does seem to me that Reason whatever its considerable flaws does talk a lot more about that than abortion. Including in this case. Have they even brought up abortion?

              1. OK, maybe you’re right. You’re usually right about things. I retract

            2. It’s pretty hard to say where he’ll be on civil liberties in general, I think. If you assume he’s a typical conservative, then yeah, there are plenty of reasons why libertarians could object to confirmation. He’s no Gorsuch, after all.

              1. No. He sucks. And will be in good company on the court.

            3. I don’t know, what is the general objection to Kavanaugh?

              By whom? By the democrats? Because he’s too conservative, mostly.

              By libertarians? Because he’s too conservative, mostly.

              1. Libertarians legitimately criticize Kavanaugh because he’s a shithead on the Fourth Amendment.

                Democrats might legitimately criticize Kavanaugh because of his stance on abortion.

                If I thought we had a decent chance of getting someone better than Kavanaugh ahead of the Democrats taking control of the senate, I’d have opposed Kavanaugh on the issue of the Fourth Amendment. The general take among the peanut gallery before Feinstein’s witch hunt was that Kavanaugh’s confirmation should be opposed on principled grounds.

                Once the issue no longer was principles but whether people should be disqualified from positions of responsibility for what they did 35 years ago as minors–based on nothing but an uncorroborated allegation? All that went out the window–as well it should.

                Now, um, the next candidate? It’s all about principles, hopefully. I’ll support them or oppose them based on how well they uphold the principles of the Constitution as I understand them. If the Democrats want to make it about whether the guy once called his friend a “fag” in the locker room 35 years ago, then all bets are off again.

                1. Ken, you make some good points

                2. I think there’s some slight chance a Democratic President would nominate somebody slightly better on the 4th amendment. Then again, maybe not, there seems to be a bipartisan consensus in Washington about trashing the 4th amendment.

                  The problem is, any Democratic nominee is virtually certain to be much, much worse on the 1st and 2nd amendment, just for starters. As well as an automatic vote in favor of increased federal power.

                  So, Kavanaugh is not my ideal Justice, but every morning I thank God that it wasn’t Hillary nominating Kennedy’s successor. What a nightmare that would have been!

                  1. Sotomayor has been pretty decent on 4A cases.

                  2. Hillary Clinton campaigned on nominating justices who were hostile to gun rights.

                    I wouldn’t put much stake in her promises, but I think it’s an issue she really cared about.

                    I did not vote for Trump, but I did make the point before the election that one reason why a libertarian might vote for Trump was because of Supreme Court picks. Every time there was a mass shooting under Clinton, she’d have never let that crisis go to waste. If Trump has done little or nothing in the aftermath of tragedies like the one in Las Vegas, that’s much to his credit.

                    Seeing a gun rights guy like Kavanaugh get on the court is a vindication of that point, too.


                  3. To me, the question wasn’t whether a Democrat might make a better pick. It’s whether Trump might nominate someone better before the midterms of whether we’d likely get a better pick from Trump after the midterms.

                    IF IF IF the Democrats somehow took the senate, Trump wouldn’t be able to get anyone past them who is as supportive of gun rights as Kavanaugh has been.

                    “Kavanaugh rejected a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic rifles

                    Kavanaugh rejected a registration requirement for all firearms

                    Kavanaugh cast a vote that had the effect of striking down Washington, D.C.’s restrictive carry law



                    I wish Trump had nominated someone better on the Fourth, but since this is the guy he put forward, I think he’s probably the best we can get for the moment.

                    Also, we probably shouldn’t expect to get a libertarian on the court. Trump isn’t a libertarian. The Republicans in the senate aren’t libertarians. Why would we expect to get a libertarian?

                    The best we can reasonably hope for maybe someone who gets a 2.75 GPA in libertarian terms–a B-. The likely alternatives the Democrats might be someone with a D or an F–taken altogether. If I have to pick between them, not sure I’m willing to sell the First and Second Amendments short just to get someone better on the Fourth Amendment.

                    1. not sure I’m willing to sell the First and Second Amendments short just to get someone better on the Fourth Amendment.

                      I think that’s what it comes down to. Where do you prioritize those? I’d be more inclined to prioritize the 4th than the 2nd. But that’s also going to depend on the cases that are likely to hit the SC in the next X years. Very difficult to predict.

      2. I maintain that the investigation was unnecessary because disqualifying people from public office for what they did 35 years ago when they were minors is asinine. I still haven’t seen anyone make a persuasive case in favor of this basic assumption behind the whole ordeal.

        That being said, I also maintain that if any of the key witnesses had changed their stories during the course of the investigation so as to confirm Ford’s allegation, that would have done less to support the allegation and more to question the credibility of the witness in question.

        Nothing both reasonable and useful could have come from this investigation.

        And if you want to vote against Kavanaugh because of his positions on the Fourth Amendment, gun rights, or abortion, you can still do that–without any investigation whatsoever.

        1. I maintain that the investigation was unnecessary because disqualifying people from public office for what they did 35 years ago when they were minors is asinine.

          Allegedly did. I can conceptualize alleged crimes that I think should bar someone from holding public office for life. What was alleged was nothing approaching any of them.

          1. Yeah, but the point I’m trying to make is that–even IF IF IF he did it, . . .

            Kavanaugh’s critics were stealing a base. Even if the investigation found what they were looking for, they’d still need to explain why what minors do today disqualifies them from public office 35 years from now.

            Lots of things get framed this way. I opposed the Iraq War–even if Saddam Hussein had WMD. Stolen base! You still need to explain whey the war is in the U.S.’s best interests!

            No, just because the glove doesn’t fit, you don’t have to acquit.

            If global warming is real, I still oppose authoritarian and socialist solutions anyway. No, framing the argument as if it all depends on temperature readings doens’t change the fact that I don’t buy the assumptions behind the way they framed it.

            I support gun rights even IF IF IF more guns means more violent crime. There’s a word for people who always choose safety over freedom, they’re called “paranoid agoraphobes”–and they won’t leave their homes for years at a time.

            So, anyway, the point is that I don’t accept the way the social justice warriors framed this whole ordeal, and I object to one of the specific assumptions that need to be made in order to accept the need for an investigation. If nothing the investigation uncovers is likely to change the fact that what Kavanaugh is accused of doing 35 years ago as a minor shouldn’t disqualify him from public office, then why are we having an investigation?

            1. Right, but surely you concede that many people disagree with the notion that people shouldn’t be disqualified based on what they did 35 years ago. A lot of conservatives thought it was relevant when Ted Kennedy killed someone when he was young. And if there was irrefutable evidence that Kavanaugh was a rapist (I know he’s not explicitly being accused of rape here…), you’re going to find a lot of people who disagree with you on the point that it doesn’t matter.

              1. A lot of conservatives thought it was relevant when Ted Kennedy killed someone when he was young.

                Jesus Christ this is such a dishonest statement and inapt comparison I’m astounded you printed it without a sarc tag. He was 37, a sitting US Senator, when he drove off the bridge.

                Now, I hold JFK responsible for the idiocy of PT109, but that only makes him an idiot, not ineligible for public office.

                1. It’s not a dishonest statement, nor is it a defense of anybody. I’m pointing out that people hold things that others do in the distant past against them all the friggin time. In Kennedy’s final election, people were STILL bringing that shit up all the time both in public and in private (I worked on the LP ticket in that election).

              2. A lot of conservatives thought it was relevant when Ted Kennedy killed someone when he was young.

                Kennedy was in his late 30s.

                1. And a Senator and convicted… entirely without the testimony of the woman he killed.

              3. Yeah, I’m willing to have that argument–and when we do, I plan to bring in our libertarian plans for sentencing reform. One of the biggest things I want to do is make it so that a felony conviction doesn’t necessarily prevent young men from a getting a decent job for the rest of their lives. It’s a big problem!

                What I’m not willing to do is NOT have the argument and just concede the assumption.

                If they only want to have this investigation because they’re making a ludicrous assumption, then I want that assumption exposed to as many people as possible. All those people who think that grabbing a girl’s breast over her clothing 35 years ago when you were a minor should mean you forfeit any position of responsibility for the rest of your life should stand up and say so.

                Also, make it clear whether you see any differences between that and the stupid misogynist shit you wrote as a kid on Facebook during Gamergate, for instance, should be held against you 35 years from now.

                If you want to see that assumption go unscrutinized, don’t hide your light under a bushel. Let it shine. Come out and say so.

                1. There’s a distinct difference here. If you’re attempting to get hired for a job where it happens to be a relevant factor, then it’s a relevant factor. If someone is applying to be the director of the rape crisis center, it’s reasonable to disqualify a convicted rapist even if they’ve atoned for their sins. Why? Because their previous actions may have a consequence on their future performance. Some have (rightfully) argued that sexual assault (and any significant criminal activity) is relevant to a job where criminality is being evaluated in some shape or form. Also, it can be relevant if it’s a reflection of how he views women (which is one of the topics that had been discussed).

                  In other words, it has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of time that has elapsed, and doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the age of the guy when it happened. So don’t keep trying to frame the problem in that way. Any legitimate critique of whether this guy belongs on the supreme court should OF COURSE consider whether or not he can apply the law equally.

                  So yes, I think it’s relevant to include these things in a background check. Probably more relevant than a lot of the other shit that I assume is included in a background check.

                  1. …and before you accuse me of saying these allegations alone should sink him — note that I’m arguing in favor of investigating these things (a real investigation, not a dog and pony show), not disqualifying him outright. The investigation *I* would have conducted would have been centered on whether there’s any evidence that any of his alleged views impacted his job performance.

                    By the way, this is EXACTLY the same thing I said when everybody thought that the Rutgers professor should be fired because of his tweet about white people, even though there did not appear to be any evidence of bias in his classroom.

                  2. “There’s a distinct difference here. If you’re attempting to get hired for a job where it happens to be a relevant factor, then it’s a relevant factor”

                    How can a misogynist comment directed at a woman not be a legitimate factor for a management position?

                    You’re standing up for exceptions to the rule that seem to be the goal of the social justice warriors.

                    Excluding people from management positions because they have written insensitive things on Facebook (as minors or otherwise) is precisely the kind of world the left is trying to build.

              4. “…many people disagree with the notion that people shouldn’t be disqualified based on what they did 35 years ago.”

                Wow, way to all passive voice and avoid making an argument.

                Surely you concede that you avoided taking a stand there, no?

                1. Of course I concede that. Every post has to be taking a stand? I’m challenging his assertion and was hoping he’d elaborate. He did. And I’m mostly on board with his response, except for its absolutism (as I pointed out). But I can be persuaded and I look forward to his next response.

                  You, on the other hand, just keep trolling me ever since the Drejka threads.

  7. Yay! The judge who hates the Fourth Amendment is one step closer to going on the Supreme Court! Three Cheers from all libertarians!

    1. If you had criticized him for that rather than believing a conspiracy theory that has completely collapsed at this point, people probably wouldn’t think you’re just mouthing progressive talking points

      1. Commoners understand sex scandals, but not the constitution.

      2. Since when is 4A a progressive talking point? The government spying on all of us is one of the few issues with bipartisan support.

        1. Man, I wish it were bipartisan. I don’t even think you have a quarter of each major party who cares about it.

    2. We’ll never be truly principled libertarians unless we support using kangaroo courts to take down the people we dislike

      1. You can still oppose putting Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court and think that he’s either likely innocent, or that it’s impossible to know for sure and therefore irrelevant to the process.

        His role with helping to architect the Patriot Act is enough to disqualify him in my mind. That’s likely the piece of legislation that has done the most damage to individual liberty in my lifetime.

        1. Yeah, agreed. But, consider how the criticism against him has focused on the Kangaroo court proceedings rather than the 4th Amendment.

          There was only one senator who pushed Kavanaugh on his views about the 4th Amendment.

          1. And it wasn’t Flake, who received glowing profiles on these pages for defending kangaroo court proceedings

        2. I understand that criticism, but chemjeff seems to live in a fantasy world where giving into the Democrats will result in a more libertarian judge

          1. It wouldn’t have? He was quite possibly among the least libertarian of everyone on Trump’s assumed short list.

            1. And exactly how does “Trump’s assumed shortlist’ compare to “Hillary’s assumed shortlist” in terms of libertarians?

              1. The question is whether or not Trump’s 2nd choice is more “libertarian” than his first choice. Clinton has nothing to do with this.

    3. It’s too bad the “Party of Civil Liberties” didn’t bother to beat him over the head with his disdain for the 4th and his love of the Patriot Act. Probably because progressive’s don’t actually care about civil liberties.

  8. “Flake also voted yes”

    Man, Welch must be inconsolable right now. Poor woketarians

    1. I will take this opportunity to point out that I called Flake’s vote last week. He was always going to vote for Kavanaugh, because he needs to be a Republican in good standing when the primaries start in 2020.

      If Kavanaugh is not on the Supreme Court next week, then Flake’s presidential campaign is toast.

      His calls for delays and investigation were the worst sort of political theater. He was playing to the Beltway Media the whole time.

      1. Flake is delusional if he thinks he could win the primary against Trump. I think Sasse would have a much better shot.

        Actually, anyone who isn’t as boorish and stupid as Trump, but also isn’t a squish could win the Republican primary against Trump. IMO

        1. You have to fuck up pretty royally as prez to actually lose a primary, or even be in serious danger of losing one. I must give you LBJ because he damn well would have lost. Maybe you can say Carter was sweating a bit; and of course Ford almost lost but he was barely an incumbent.

          1. Trump screws-up constantly. Literally, almost every week

            1. Trump’s supporters have screwed up their entire lives — they stuck with declining industries, dying towns, and childish superstition, and avoided proper education, marketable skills, and modern society — so they figure screwing up just once a week is what wildly successful people must do.

              1. Kirkland makes his argument for Trump in the same way that the Democrats made the argument for Kavanaugh; the Dems were so despicable that I want his ass confirmed even though I suspect it’ll end up fucking us on the 4th, and even people who don’t particularly like Trump might want to vote him in anyway because by god people like Kirkrapist should NEVER have ANY power.

                1. I didn’t care for the guy a whole lot, then woketarians opened their mouths and all I want is to see Kav shotgun beers and boof in RGBs face

                2. I consider it likely something will have to be done about Arty and his friends if we want to remain a free country. Arty reinforces that perception daily.

          2. I wouldn’t be so sure LBJ would have lost. It was before the McGovern Commission “reforms,” and a good percentage of the convention delegates were chosen by the party bosses. That’s how Humphrey got the nomination, even though he didn’t win a single primary.

            1. And don’t forget: LBJ actually won the New Hampshire primary. (He just didn’t win by as big a margin as expected. And it turned out that a lot of people voted for McCarthy because they knew he was a critic of LBJ’s war policy, but they thought he’d prosecute the war *more* vigorously than LBJ.) And even after he had withdrawn from the race, he still got 35% of the vote in the Wisconsin primary.

        2. Flake is Beltway Insider, a Swamp Creature who lives and breathes Washington Media Conventional Wisdom.

          He believes Trump is vulnerable to a challenge from the Squishy Middle because the WaPo tells Flake he is.

        3. The last time someone successfully primaried an incumbent POTUS was the 1850’s, unless you want to include TR vs Taft in 1912, where TR won 9 of the 12 primaries but the3 delegates chose Taft.

          The odds of Trump losing the GOP Primary to anyone are almost zero.

          1. Kivlor is absolutely correct.

            The challenger would have to have a better record of standing up to Lefties, getting conservatives on the SCOTUS, rolling back regulations, slowing down illegal immigration, standing up to foreign nations, not getting the USA involved in another war, get North Korea to settle down, put Iran in its place, get the economy rocking better than the last 60 years, get the stock market soaring….

            There is nobody in politics today that has pulled that off, except Trump. Plus, Trump just started his political career in January 2017.

        4. “Flake is delusional if he thinks he could win the primary against Trump.”

          His goal is not winning the primary. His goal is establishing himself as the Trump alternative.

          It’s largely a business move.

          1. Flake should be kicked out of the party. Along with a lot of other RINOs.

      2. “because he needs to be a Republican in good standing when the primaries start in 2020.”

        Why, so he can get half a percent of the vote, instead of a quarter percent? Flake couldn’t win the Presidential primary in his home state, let alone nationally! That’s why he’s retiring.

      1. It’s like the last supper, except with mentally deficient evil people

  9. What will be the story that divides the nation next week?

    1. It’s gonna be about the toilet paper stuck to Trump’s shoe as he boards Air Force One.

      1. Twitter would just blow up!

        1. Not as badly as Air Force One’s head will the next time a Reason journo is in the press pool and accidentally throws one of his tampons in there.

          1. WTF does that mean? You got a sick mind, Diego. Well done

        2. And lose its mind.

    2. amy schemer claims assault in beverly hills jail, cops say “ew no!”

    3. If Robert Mueller has a devilish streak, he’ll indict Donald Trump Jr. in the immediate wake of the Kavanaugh vote.

      I tend to believe he’s saving that one for Thanksgiving week, though.

    4. “”What will be the story that divides the nation next week?””

      The Kremlin is waiting for Putin to sign off on the new list.

  10. “But many Democrats challenged the findings, claiming the investigation was too limited in its scope.”

    Expect to see this talking point when the special counsel is not able to find any proof of Russian “hacking” or collusion.

    Rinse and repeat.

    Of course, it won’t matter at that point because we will have already armed the Ukrainians and involved more troops in Syria. So the fever dreams served their purpose

    1. Wouldn’t it be nice if they put together some intelligent, considered, useful opposition to Trump?

      1. Criticism on trade and immigration can be thoughtful and useful opposition. But, the absolute lack of criticism against Trump about arming Ukraine is all about the fact that the #Resist movement is primarily driven by neocons.

    2. Madcow has already set the ground work by devoting half a show this week to how the FBI worked to sabotage Hillary’s elections by releasing their interrogation of her which was not under oath and of course Comey etc…

      1. Why anyone would watch that propagandist for the Lefties…

  11. This sounding more and more like a done deal, but for more yelling and screaming from the likes of “shanaynay” dancing Amy Schumer and company. While Kavanaugh is certainly less than ideal, I think his confirmation will definitely put a pretty good size nail into the progressive coffin.

    So what will be the consequences a month from now? I suspect most people are going to do what they had already made up their minds to do before this travesty of a hearing. It will come down to how many of them care enough to get off their [butt hurt or not] ass and actually vote. Or, who is the more pissed off.

    1. I think the effects of this will be felt in November

      The Democrats apparently thought every woman in America is like the ones they know in Washington. In the rest of the country, most women saw right through Ford and know first hand how vindictive and nasty women can be. We will see what happens, but if the Republicans end up holding Congress, I think likely the Democrats going full retard over Kavanaugh will be the reason.

      1. Where “rest of the country” = uneducated women who fund faith healers.

        1. Now who’s the misogynist.

        2. Man you are one misogynistic asshole.

          1. Like a true liberal, only misogynistic to the women he doesn’t like.

            Liberals, the center of the universe starts with them.

        3. No Rev; just the one’s who let their bitter clinging and deplorable husbands tell them how to vote.

          Seriously, though, this confirmation is pivotal. I mean a real high water mark in our history; maybe not Lincoln’s election pivotal but certainly along the lines of The Civil Rights Act [1964], the birth control pill [1960], Dewey
          defeats Truman [sic], and maybe even the moon landing [1969] pivotal.

          How do you feel, honestly now? Don’t hold back now, hear?

        4. “You bitter clingers just watch, we’re going to take over in like 30 years”

          Kirkland in 2050

    2. Everyone seems to think this has closed the “enthusiasm gap” to nothing which is a hell of an accomplishment in the midterms. Nate Silver thinks that and is he ever wrong?

      1. If that Qunipac poll I link to above that shows Democrats having a one point lead among white woman is even close to correct, they are screwed and could end up losing seats.

        1. If they end up not taking either chamber of Congress, I’m predicting multiple assassination attempts. They’ve gone that nuts at this point.

          1. If they end up not taking either chamber of Congress, I’m predicting multiple assassination attempts

            Given recent history (Scalise, the guy running against Eric SwallowWell, and the ricin scare a couple days ago), that just might be the push needed for them to wild out and provoke their beloved “trained government agents” into recreating Kent State or Ludlow.

            I guess we’ll see at that point if they continue to hold to the idea that only the police and the military should be armed.

          2. I have seriously wondered about that. As un-civil as this country has become, it certainly seems to be a more “credible” possibility than Ford’s testimony.

        2. Dropping your 14 point lead to a 1 point lead in ~30 days is pretty impressive honestly. Whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it right.

    3. Amy Schumer. Talked about a do-nothing, empty headed idiot who wouldn’t be able to function as a GS-7 in real life, but knows EVERYTHING about the government.

  12. If Kavanaugh is confirmed, there’s another justice who’s terrible on the 4th Amendment. If Kavanaugh is not confirmed then spurious allegations without any corroborating evidence is the new standard for ruining someone’s reputation.

    This really is a lose- lose situation.

    1. Every Justice is lousy on the 4th Amendment. It is not like they would replace Kavanaugh with someone who was any better. So, that is really a constant at this point.

      1. Scalia, Gorsuch, and Sotomayor were pretty good on the 4th Amendment

        1. Scalia was terrible early on but late in life he appeared to have a change of heart. I honestly think advances in technology scared him into it.

          1. >>> he appeared to have a change of heart.

            hoping Kav has one also now the Bush Administration is over and 24 got canceled.

        2. Sotomayor has been pretty good on the 4th. If only she thought the 2nd was just as important.

      2. Every Justice is lousy on the 4th Amendment.

        You might be right. But equally lousy? No way. Kavanaugh may be one of the worst on the 4th amendment. And that’s a problem.

        1. Have you ever met Breyer or Kagan or Kennedy?

          I take it you’re not too familiar with the court

          1. I guess there is an argument that in this single issue he won’t be terribly worse than the guy he is replacing. So then the real question would be: Is he better on the other issues.

            1. This presumes that there were no other candidates who would have been better on 4.

              1. No, it presumes that because it isn’t a change from before it is a tolerable arreal to “lose” on

                1. **area not arreal

          2. I’m plenty familiar, and I acknowledge that there’s no real advocate for 4 as a whole. But the idea is silly that they’re all the same and that they will all vote the same on cases that either directly deal with 4 or deal only with concepts related to 4.

          3. Also, the fact that you include Kagan here and suggest worse than Kavanaugh is puzzling. I take it you’re not too familiar with the court.

    2. Oh, don’t be so pessimistic.

      Also, the Fourth Amendment isn’t the only one of our constitutional rights that’s under threat.

      How’s the Second Amendment likely to fare in the future with Kavanaugh on board?

    3. You are a real downer. I wanted to celebrate this and dance about. Sometimes you gotta do that when a decidedly bigger disaster is averted by a lesser one.

      Next you will be telling me that 2020 will be a choice between an Administration that is actually escalating confrontation with Russia, and an Opposition that so loudly denounces him as a fraidy-cat pussy on the issue that no one has noticed the above fact.

    4. #KobiashiMaru

  13. Who has to change Robbo’s diapers at Reason HQ?

    1. We do have some odd fetishes in these parts.

    2. It definitely isn’t Lizzie, that’s for sure. She hates having to take care of little babies!

  14. I predict that before 2019 is well begun we will have breathless breaking news that Justice Kavanaugh got Justice Ginsburg wined up in her private office and mashed down on her old bones. She will reveal this in a startling news conference on CNN.

    Brett’s story will be that he found Ruthie babe all wined up and so blue in the face he assumed she was choking on something. So he did the Heimlich, and she burped, returning to consciousness, sort of.

    Impeachment will commence. RBG will appear on The View as a tearful survivor. Her GoFundMe account will raise $5million in a week.

    Trump will win a second term in 2020 by 15 pts and huge electoral vote edge with solid control of House and Senate. In this second term he will add two more judges of his choice to the high court.

    1. Devil’s triangle with Kav, RBG, and Clarence.

      1. >>RBG

        Soto probably puts on a better show

    2. …and we’ll achieve a new energy source by lighting unicorn farts…the oil economies of the Middle East will collapse as the rest of the world no longer depends on them for energy…discontented youth in the region will become entrepreneurs and abandon terrorism…cats and dogs living apart, total harmony…

      1. Oh, and…EWWWW!

  15. Isn’t everyone supposed to be impartial?

    I mean if you’re a lying partisan SOB will you be happy when an impartial judge rules against you?

    Or will you change your mind as accept, “well that’s justice”?

    1. That’s where the U. S. marshals come in…

  16. Looks like the senate is setting us up for a repeat of the Solanas shooting. Valerie Solanas was the author of S.C.U.M. (Society for cutting up men) Manifesto and shooter of Andy Warhol. Will Kavanaugh be the target or will it be one of our august senators?

    1. We need a pool. I’ll take Collins.

      1. “We need a pool.”

        Drowning the bastards is either too much trouble or un-American.

  17. It’s finally, blessedly, mercifully almost all over.

    And by the way, who was it here at Reason who told all you little Block Yomommatards that Joe Manchin was definitely going to vote “Yes” and that you should bookmark it if you didn’t think so?

    Yep, that would be me, yours truly: Dipshit Dave Weigel’s teeny tiny little cock ring!

    1. Manchin may have saved his ass if he switched parties back on Nov.8, 2016.

      1. He can make amends by decking Feinstein and then Booker. All will be forgiven.

  18. Collins is a yes; that only leaves Flake as a potential spoiler. Pence can break the tie.

  19. Ford (in art form) is making an appearance on the cover of Time magazine. Let that sink in for a second.

    Anyone who says “there’s no media bias” should be laughed at and never be taken seriously again. Trump is a blowhard, but in essence he was proven 100% correct when he declared the media the enemy of the people.

    The second the accusers’ stories fell apart under apart, the media mumbled “she appears to be a telling a different story” and then quickly shifted the goalpost to BK’s temperament and drinking games. They deceptively focused on tangents like 80’s rape culture and frat societies to implicate BK.

    The democrats wanted the FBI to act as a private investigator on Ford’s behalf, to look for something that could incriminate the judge (instead of following up on viable leads). The FBI refused, but the media took up that role with gusto.

    “Believe all women” is such ridiculous nonsense. The libs would believe every female cop alleging that the shooting victim had a gun on him? They didn’t believe women who made accusations on many dem leaders. The editorial board of every viable magazines and periodicals should warn its readership of this concept. Instead, some of them went out of the way to urge a no vote on Kav.

    1. Evaluating additional information that appears in the process of a hearing isn’t “shifting a goalpost”.

  20. Yeah, I’d have opposed Kavanaugh on the issue of the Fourth Amendment. The general take among the peanut gallery before Feinstein’s witch hunt was that Kavanaugh’s confirmation should be opposed on principled grounds, LOL

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