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Republican senators weigh in on delaying Kavanaugh vote

Three Republican senators have weighed in on postponing a vote on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination...

Posted: Sep 17, 2018 2:24 PM
Updated: Sep 17, 2018 2:24 PM

Three Republican senators have weighed in on postponing a vote on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination until they hear more from the woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

Sens. Jeff Flake and Bob Corker both say the Senate Judiciary Committee should not vote on Kavanaugh's nomination until they talk to his accuser, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the committee might have to consider delaying the vote, according to reporting by CNN and other news organizations.

Brett Kavanaugh

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Jeff Flake

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Christine Blasey Ford

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Susan Collins

When asked if the committee should consider delaying the vote this week, Murkowski told CNN, "Well, I think that might be something they might have to consider, at least having that discussion. This is not something that came up during the hearings. The hearings are now over, and if there is real substance to this, it demands a response. That may be something the committee needs to look into."

Senate Republicans hold a 51-49 majority and cannot afford two or more Republicans voting against Kavanaugh's nomination unless they pick up votes from Democrats. Alaska's Murkowski and Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins are two key GOP swing votes.

Collins told CNN on Sunday that she was "very surprised" by the now-public allegations, but did not know enough to make a judgment. She said she raised the allegations during a phone call with Kavanaugh on Friday before the accuser went public over the weekend.

Asked if she wanted the Senate Judiciary Committee to delay its planned vote this week on Kavanaugh's nomination, Collins was noncommittal.

"I'm going to be talking with my colleagues, but I really don't have anything to add at this point," Collins said Sunday.

Flake sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee and was the first Republican to join Democrats in urging a delay in the committee vote, planned for Thursday, until the panel has heard from Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago, The Washington Post and Politico reported Sunday.

"I've made it clear that I'm not comfortable moving ahead with the vote on Thursday if we have not heard her side of the story or explored this further," the Arizona senator told the Post.

Flake did not say to the Post what form the communication with Ford should take or how he plans to vote. He told Politico, "We need to hear from her. And I don't think I'm alone in this."

In a statement on Friday, Kavanaugh denied the reported allegations that while at a party during his time in high school, he pushed a woman, who then had not been publicly identified, into a room, locked the door to the room along with another male and tried to take off the woman's clothes.

"I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time," his statement said.

In an interview with The New York Times on Sunday, Collins questioned how her Democratic colleagues handled the matter.

"What is puzzling to me is the Democrats, by not bringing this out earlier, after having had this information for more than six weeks, have managed to cast a cloud of doubt on both the professor and the judge," she said. "If they believed Professor Ford, why didn't they surface this information earlier so that he could be questioned about it? And if they didn't believe her and chose to withhold the information, why did they decide at the 11th hour to release it? It is really not fair to either of them the way it is was handled."

Corker also believes Kavanaugh's accuser should be heard out before the Judiciary Committee votes on his nomination, the Tennessee senator's spokesperson, Micah Johnson, said in a statement to CNN. Corker, however, does not sit on the panel.

Ford came forward publicly Sunday, detailing her allegations about the Supreme Court nominee in an interview with the Post. As her private outreach to California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein became public over the past week, she decided to go ahead and speak out herself, Sunday's report said.

In the Post's report on Sunday, Ford alleged Kavanaugh "pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers" while trying to remove her clothes. "When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth," but ultimately she was able to run from the room, the report added.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 149940

Reported Deaths: 3779
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10097104
Hinds9984199
Harrison7116110
Jackson6360119
Rankin5588103
Lee509195
Madison4799106
Forrest383186
Jones357688
Lauderdale3496147
Lafayette326051
Washington3179107
Lamar291550
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Lowndes237364
Panola222350
Neshoba2206118
Marshall217250
Leflore205590
Pontotoc199928
Monroe198177
Sunflower191655
Lincoln190865
Warren176857
Tate169851
Union167325
Copiah164140
Pike162658
Yazoo156039
Scott154829
Itawamba152935
Pearl River152167
Alcorn151328
Coahoma150543
Simpson148353
Prentiss146230
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Leake134944
Holmes130861
George125524
Tippah125230
Covington123439
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Hancock121139
Wayne117923
Marion116646
Attala113034
Tishomingo109442
Chickasaw107632
Newton105629
Tallahatchie97027
Clay91327
Clarke90553
Jasper82822
Stone77014
Walthall76928
Calhoun75513
Montgomery74525
Carroll72415
Lawrence71814
Smith71316
Yalobusha71327
Noxubee71017
Perry67026
Tunica61019
Greene60322
Claiborne58616
Jefferson Davis57017
Amite54014
Humphreys53619
Benton49318
Quitman4927
Webster44314
Kemper43618
Wilkinson39822
Jefferson35211
Franklin3395
Choctaw3357
Sharkey30917
Issaquena1164
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 244993

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson32314500
Mobile19859361
Madison13223148
Tuscaloosa13049154
Montgomery12342236
Shelby1031577
Baldwin873398
Lee775766
Morgan662650
Calhoun6301119
Etowah627666
Marshall627255
Houston525638
DeKalb485536
Cullman439442
Limestone425145
St. Clair419555
Lauderdale407854
Elmore406864
Walker3657111
Talladega351454
Jackson320423
Colbert311942
Blount292240
Autauga273542
Franklin252633
Coffee245415
Dale232654
Dallas226232
Chilton223438
Russell22193
Covington218934
Escambia198331
Chambers176850
Tallapoosa176391
Pike158614
Clarke158419
Marion140236
Winston133023
Lawrence127936
Pickens123518
Geneva12218
Marengo121524
Bibb117917
Barbour117310
Butler116541
Randolph102921
Cherokee102224
Hale97031
Clay91924
Fayette91616
Washington91219
Henry8546
Lowndes79929
Monroe78911
Cleburne77214
Macon73722
Crenshaw71130
Bullock69619
Perry6886
Conecuh68414
Lamar6798
Wilcox63518
Sumter58122
Greene42618
Choctaw42213
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