North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, who leads the same list of 10 Most Vulnerable Dems that Bob Menendez landed on today announced this afternoon she is a No vote on Kavanaugh. That leaves Joe Manchin, the right-leaning WV senator as the only Dem potentially voted to confirm Kavanaugh. As reported, only one copy of the FBI report has been made available to senators, and they have had to take turns reading it all day in a secure room in the U.S. Capitol basement. Chris Cillizza reads the tea leaves on the Republicans: Maine’s Susan Collins praised the report as she exited the secure room, leading to speculation she’s a Yes. Her major concern was Kavanaugh’s opinion on abortion rights, and he had already reassured her he believes it’s settled law. Jeff Flake, who triggered this abbreviated FBI probe after two women confronted him in an elevartor, says there’s no corroborating evidence in the report either of Kavanaugh’s lying under oath, or of assault allegations, a strong signal he is also a Yes, with Cillizza offering an interesting reason why he might flip to No. Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski is also a likely Yes.
Meanwhile, Cory Booker is using the national reach of his famous Twitter account to ask his 4 million followers to call their senators and urge them to vote no. More than 1,700 law professors are on record against elevating Kavanaugh to the high court. In a rare move, ACLU is also opposing Kavanaugh. And who did the FBI interview? Dunno. Nine people, with attempts for a tenth, but the Republicans refuse to make the report public or name who they talked to. The did not talk either to Kavanaugh or Ford.
Meanwhile, we have more photos of New Jersey’s rockstar busloads from Cherry Hill, West Orange, Newark, New Brunswick & Elizabeth. Thanks to Estina Baker (first photo) and Brendan Neal. A number of people were arrested at the Hart Senate Office Bldg. including Amy Schumer, carrying a sign saying WE BELIEVE ANITA HILL. The actress is a cousin of Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. And in a rare move, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said that Kavanaugh isn’t qualified for the Supreme Court, that he disqualified himself with his performance at last week’s Judiciary Committee hearing. Members of the high court, even retired justices, rarely comment on the fitness of nominees.