Kavanaugh nomination consideration officially begins on Senate floor

The Senate took its first step toward formally considering Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination on the floor of the US Senate on Friday evening.

In a voice vote, lawmakers passed the motion to proceed on Kavanaugh’s confirmation, meaning there would be no Saturday session — though the future of Kavanaugh’s nomination now lies in the hands of an FBI investigation.

The move comes after a week of uncertainty surrounding Kavanaugh’s nomination as the nation watched both the judge and the woman who has accused him of sexual assault testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday about the alleged incident.

Christine Blasey Ford has accused Kavanaugh of committing sexual assault against her more than three decades ago when both were at a party in their high school years. Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the allegation.

Following Thursday’s hearing, Republicans agreed to delay the final vote to confirm Kavanaugh to allow time for the FBI to look into the allegations against him.

“The supplemental FBI background investigation would be limited to current credible allegations against the nominee and must be completed no later than one week from today,” a Friday statement from the Senate Judiciary Committee said.

Friday evening’s procedural motion means the Senate will officially be considering Kavanaugh’s nomination while the FBI investigates sexual assault allegations against the judge.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement from President Donald Trump in a tweet Friday afternoon, announcing that he had officially asked for the FBI to “conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file.”

“I’ve ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file. As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week,” Trump said in the statement.