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Senate expects to vote on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination before court starts next term

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) waits for the arrival of Judge Brett Kavanaugh before a meeting in McConnell's office in the U.S. Capitol July 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to succeed retiring Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expects that the Senate will vote on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination before the court starts its next term, The Hill reported.

What is the timetable?

"The timetable typically for recent Supreme Court justices, if we stuck to that timetable and I intend to, would give us an opportunity to get this new justice on the court by the first of October," McConnell said in Kentucky, the report stated.

Late last month, he made a similar time estimate before President Donald Trump named Kavanaugh as his pick.

Kavanaugh is “making his rounds on Capital Hill” to obtain the simple majority support he needs to be confirmed as Justice Anthony Kennedy's successor on the high court, according to The Hill.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has not said when the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination. On Friday, McConnell predicted that will likely happen in late August or early September. McConnell canceled 3 weeks of the summer recess, so the Senate is expected to be in Washington for most of August, The Hill reported.

Is he expected to be confirmed?

McConnell said he expects Kavanaugh will be able to win over the simple majority needed to be confirmed.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is continuing to battle brain cancer and if he is unable to vote, Kavanaugh will need 50 senators to back him, according to the report.

Republicans could even confirm Trump's pick without any input from Democrats if the caucus rallies behind Kavanaugh, the report noted.

Several GOP senators may remain undecided, however. They include Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Rand Paul (Ky.). Several Democratic senators, including those up for re-election in states won by Trump, have also said they are undecided.

"I think most members who are in the undecided column will wait until the hearing," McConnell said. "My suspicion is there's a fairly small number of people who are genuinely undecided."

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