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DC Whispers

Rumor: McCain Could Resign for Kavanaugh to be Confirmed

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An ABC News political analyst, Alex Castellanos, spoke on Tuesday of a possibility that Arizona Senator John McCain could resign if his vote was needed for senate confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh to allow a replacement to cast the decisive vote. Speaking on the confirmation process in an interview with a local Arizona radio station, Castellanos said that “there’s some word that if McCain is not able to vote and his vote is needed, he might resign and let someone appoint a senator who would support this judge.” McCain, who has been receiving treatment and rehabilitating from a diagnosis of brain cancer, has taken a seven month leave from the Senate to focus on his health, effectively leaving Republicans with a bare-bones 50-49 majority.

McCain had earlier issued a statement of support for Kavanaugh’s nomination, making it all but certain he personally would vote for the judge’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. It remains to be seen if Kavanaugh’s confirmation will be decided by one vote alone, with the possibility that Senate Democrats such as Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp could defect from the Democratic Caucus and vote to confirm Kavanaugh, thus rendering McCain’s absence irrelevant. However, if one Republican senator were to vote with the Democrats, it could create a situation where a vote from Arizona’s Senator could be necessary to achieve confirmation. Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, both known advocates of abortion rights, are possible no votes on the Supreme Court nominee.

If McCain were unable to cast a vote for Kavanaugh, his potential resignation would create a vacancy to be fulfilled by Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey, with a replacement presumably able and ready to cast a vote to push Kavanaugh’s confirmation by the Senate over the finish line.

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