The Kavanaugh hearings have officially come to an end after no shortage of political theater by both Senators and paid disrupters. There’s still a lot that needs to happen before he can be confirmed. The Senate Judiciary Committee must give his nomination either a favorable or unfavorable recommendation to the entire Senate. This vote in the committee will be scheduled next week, but Democrats can object to a motion to proceed to a vote and delay the process. If they do (and we fully expect that they will), the committee must wait one week before meeting again to consider the nomination. Once this time is burned, the vote can be taken, and then the committee can report the nomination to the full Senate. Cloture can be filed the day after the committee gives their final report (cloture is a vote to end debate) and then the clock starts ticking to burn 30 hours of Senate floor debate.
It normally takes 60 votes to stop debate, but remember former Majority Leader Harry Reid changed the Senate rules in 2015 to allow for a simple majority (51) to end debate for lower court judges and cabinet nominees. When Democrats obstructed the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice for the Supreme Court in 2017, Majority Leader McConnell was forced to change the Senate rules again to lower the cloture threshold for Supreme Court nominees to a simple majority. The vote to end debate on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination will require this same simple majority. After debate is over, the final vote will occur for confirmation; this vote also requires a simple majority of Senators present to pass.
This will likely take us into the end of September, and if all goes according to plan, including a successful floor vote, it appears that Judge Kavanaugh will be Justice Kavanaugh in time for the Supreme Court’s term beginning the first Monday in October (October 1).