- Wikipedia; Chip Somodevilla/Getty; Skye Gould/Business Insider
- President Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the Supreme Court.
- The Senate, tasked with the confirmation process, has 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats.
- Republicans would need a minimum of 50 votes to confirm Kavanaugh, then Vice President Mike Pence could cast the tiebreaking vote.
When President Donald Trump earlier this year nominated Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals judge, to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, it immediately created a horse race for Senate Republicans to lock down at least 50 votes in his favor. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are looking to block the nominee.
Because of the split nature of the Senate, in which Republicans control 51 seats and Democrats have 49 (including two independents who caucus with Democrats), the confirmation process is likely to come down to the wire. Republicans need a minimum of 50 votes to confirm Kavanaugh; in that scenario, Vice President Mike Pence would cast the tiebreaking vote.
Most senators are reliable to toe the party line in voting for Kavanaugh. But the vote count is likely to be closer than ever because of two moderate Republican senators – Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine – and a handful of Democrats facing tough reelection bids this November in traditionally red states.
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s series confirmation hearing for Kavanaugh began on September 4, when political infighting enveloped much of the panel. But the committee’s chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, vowed to continue moving forward with the process.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation appeared to be on the ropes when Christine Blasey Ford came forward accusing him of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers in the early 1980s. The Judiciary Committee heard additional testimony in late September from Kavanaugh and Ford.
This graphic is an ongoing whip count of who is leaning which way and whose final vote is still up in the air. It will be updated accordingly.
Read Business Insider's full coverage of the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing:
- Here's a full recap of the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing
- "I am terrified": Ford details her sexual-assault allegation in gut-wrenching opening statement
- "I will not be intimidated into withdrawing": Kavanaugh defiant in prepared remarks for Senate hearing
- Ford says the strongest memory she has of Kavanaugh's alleged sexual assault was "the uproarious laughter"
- Ford says she decided to come forward after reporters were sitting outside of her house and showing up in her classroom where she taught
- Here is the polygraph test Ford took following her sexual-assault allegations against Kavanaugh
- Meet Mark Judge, Kavanaugh's high-school friend and the other man who's becoming central to the allegations
- Here are all the allegations against Kavanaugh
- How the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing compares to the 1991 Anita Hill hearing
- Meet Rachel Mitchell, the woman questioning Ford about her Kavanaugh allegations
- Meet Brett Kavanaugh, "the Forrest Gump of Republican politics"
- Senate committee votes to advance Kavanaugh, but final confirmation hits snag as GOP Sen. Jeff Flake seeks delay