Oct 5, 2018

Kavanaugh has the votes

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Brett Kavanaugh appears likely to be confirmed to the Supreme Court within the next day or two.

Driving the news: Sens. Susan Collins, Jeff Flake and Joe Manchin will vote "yes," while Lisa Murkowski is a "no." That puts Kavanaugh at 51 expected votes.

What happened: Collins delivered her decision in a 45+ minute speech on the Senate floor:

  • "Interest groups have also spent an unprecedented amount of dark money opposing this nomination. One can only hope that the Kavanaugh nomination is where the process has finally hit rock bottom." (Worth noting: Dark money group Judicial Crisis Network has spent millions in favor of Kavanaugh.)
  • "I listened carefully to Christine Blasey Ford's testimonybefore the Judiciary Committee. I found her testimony to be sincere, painful, and compelling. I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault and that this trauma has upended her life. Nevertheless, the four witnesses she named could not corroborate any of the events of that evening gathering where she says the assault occurred." 
  • “I have been alarmed and disturbed, however, by some who have suggested that unless Judge Kavanaugh's nomination is rejected, the Senate is somehow condoning sexual assault. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
  • "The facts presented do not mean that Professor Ford was not sexually assaulted that night or at some other time, but they do lead me to conclude that the allegations failed to meet the more likely than not standard."
  • "My fervent hope is that Brett Kavanaugh will work to lessen the divisions in the Supreme Court so that we have far fewer 5-4 decisions and so that public confidence in our judiciary and our highest court is restored."

The bottom line: This is the second time in three decades that a woman's public accusation of sexual misconduct failed to derail a man's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Coronavirus updates: New global case numbers surpass China's

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. As Denmark and Estonia reported their first cases Thursday, Scott Morrison, prime minister of Australia — which has 23 confirmed infections — told a news conference, "The risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know so far

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee Molson Coors on Wednesday, including the 51-year-old gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at an evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

WHO official leads criticism of Trump's coronavirus response

President Trump with members of the new coronavirus task force, including Vice President Mike Pence at the White House on Wednesday. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, special advisor to the director general of the World Health Organization, told MSNBC Wednesday he found "most" of what President Trump said at his briefing on the novel coronavirus "incoherent."

The big picture: As the number of confirmed cases reaches 60 in the U.S., the top health professional — who was a health policy adviser in the Obama administration — is among several leading figures, in particular, Democrats, to criticize the president for his response to the outbreak.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - Health