Rauner urges delay in Kavanaugh vote
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner urged a last-minute delay in the vote on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination, hours before the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to advance the nomination to the full Senate.
But full confirmation of the nominee is hardly certain.
"Dr. Ford’s allegations are very serious and they seem very credible," Rauner told WBEZ-FM’s Morning Shift earlier today. "I believe they deserve to be investigated and I believe a vote should be postponed until they are fully investigated."
Hours later, the Judiciary Committee quickly voted 11-10, along party lines, with the support of every Republican member on the committee. But the drama continues, as some U.S. senators urged a delay of a full Floor vote by at least a week to allow for an FBI investigation.
Whether the Floor vote should be delayed is a source of debate that crosses party lines. Prior to advancing the nominee, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) urged a delay for an FBI investigation, with comments similar to Rauner's statements in Illinois.
Friday's vote followed contentious hearings with testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, who alleged that Kavanaugh assaulted her when they both were teenagers. Hearings on Thursday included powerful testimony from Ford and often angry responses from Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court last summer by President Donald Trump and his nomination process through the Senate appeared to be going smoothly until Ford's allegations against him surfaced.
Rauner's call for a delay in the Kavanaugh vote is a departure from his position in July when he openly favored confirmation. That same month, Rauner added his name to a letter from the majority of Republican governors in the U.S. in support of Kavanaugh's nomination.
However, when allegations against Kavanaugh surfaced earlier this month, Rauner called those claims "very serious", saying if the claims are true, then Kavanaugh should be disqualified.
Rauner's Democrat opponent in the gubernatorial race, J.B. Pritzker, also weighed in Thursday morning as the hearing were underway. Pritzker, responding to a question about anti-harassment policies, called for an FBI investigation.
"I happen to think that in Washington D.C., that the Judiciary Committee in the Senate should be handing over to the FBI the investigation of the allegations that have been made about Kavanaugh," Pritzker has been widely quoted as responding to that question. "That’s the way to do it. I'm not sure that here in Illinois that things have been handled the way they should have but, under our administration, they will be."