- Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat from North Dakota, announced Thursday that she would vote against confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
- The red-state Democrat was considered one of a handful of on-the-fence senators.
- Heitkamp voted in favour of President Trump’s last nominee to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch.
One less senator is on the fence about Brett Kavanaugh.
On Thursday, Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, announced that she would not vote to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court come the floor vote scheduled for Friday.
Heitkamp, a red-state Democratic who is locked in a tight reelection battle, was considered one of handful of key swing votes that could decide whether Kavanaugh will or will not get a lifetime appointment to America’s highest court.
The other swing votes that have not announced their final decision include Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake of Arizona.
The North Dakota senator’s decision comes after the FBI finished its investigation into sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.
The results of the investigation have not been made public, but senators who have seen the document say it doesn’t include evidence corroborating Christine Blasey Ford’s claims that he sexually assaulted her at a party when they were in high school.
“After doing my due diligence and now that the record is apparently closed, I will vote against his confirmation,” Heitkamp said.
She went on to criticise both Republicans and Democrats for how they handled the situation.
“Both sides horribly handled the process around the nomination. We must learn from these mistakes,” Heitkamp said.
Heitkamp previously voted to confirm President Donald Trump’s last Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.
Voting against Kavanaugh could end up being one of Heitkamp’s last acts as a senator. Her GOP opponent, Rep. Kevin Cramer, has a healthy lead in recent polls in the state.
Heitkamp has been a senator since 2013, but Trump won the state by nearly 40 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election.