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How many Senate Democrats will vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court?

No one knows it better right now than moderate Senate Democrats: For better or worse, the judicial confirmation process has never been more partisan. As conservative think tanker Benjamin Wittes opines at The Atlantic,

He will be confirmed because there are 51 Republican senators in office and a Republican vice president who can break a tie if need be. While he may get a few Democratic votes, he will get confirmed—indeed, he will get a vote at all—because Republicans right now have the raw political power to confirm him on their own. That political constellation of power exists because people expect him to vote in certain ways on certain types of cases, to deliver certain specific outcomes on issues they care about. Democrats will oppose him for the same reasons. And here’s the rub: If the balance of power changes even a little bit before the vote on him takes place and Democrats somehow come into a working majority, then Kavanaugh will not be confirmed and might not even get a vote. Our partisanship over Supreme Court nominations is not yet perfect, but it is getting there fast.

Judge Kavanaugh may be as "talented a jurist" as anyone else, whatever that means. And maybe he would even be very close to "unbiased", to the extent that the quality makes any sense in a judge or is even possible. But to many, he represents a pivotal, pilfered seat at one of the most crucial times of transition in American history. And the pressure on Democrats and anyone left of solidly right to not confirm his nomination will be very strong. How many non-Republicans (to include Independents Sanders and King, for a total of 49) will ultimately ignore this political squeeze?

If there is no vote, the question resolves as ambiguous.


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