A handful of senators from both major parties will play a critical role in determining whether Brett Kavanaugh joins the Supreme Court following a sexual assault accusation against the federal appellate judge.
Kavanaugh's confirmation to the highest U.S. court — which seemed like a done deal in the GOP-controlled Senate only days ago — now appears more in doubt following the allegation. Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor in California, says Kavanaugh tried to "attack [her] and remove [her] clothing" during a party when both of them were high school students in Maryland decades ago. Kavanaugh, in a new statement Monday, called the allegation "completely false."
Republicans enter this week intent on moving forward with a vote Thursday to advance Kavanaugh's confirmation through the Senate Judiciary Committee and on to the full chamber despite the serious allegation. Democrats and even some Republicans now want to delay the vote until Ford can publicly tell her story. She is willing to testify before Congress, her lawyer said Monday.
All eyes now turn to a few key lawmakers who will help to determine whether the appointee of President Donald Trump will take his lifetime seat on the Supreme Court. Already, several Republicans who hold swing votes have showed qualms about pushing forward with the judge's confirmation.
Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican and Judiciary Committee member, and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., both told news outlets that the panel should delay a vote until it hears more from Ford. The two senators will retire in January.