Speed Reads


CNN's Chris Cuomo explains the numbers behind the looming Supreme Court justice vote

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement means that someday, the Senate will be voting for his replacement, and CNN's Chris Cuomo on Wednesday night tried to explain the myriad of ways this could all play out.

With the help of a whiteboard, Cuomo explored whether the Democrats have enough votes to block the eventual pick. It comes down to a lot of things, he said — will Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), battling an aggressive form of brain cancer, be able to vote? Will Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who have said they support abortion rights, vote against a more conservative pick? What about Democratic senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota — they both voted for Justice Neil Gorsuch, and coming from red states, might go along with President Trump's nominee.

The biggest "if," though, is if the vote can be delayed, Cuomo said. It could happen, if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has a "sudden allergic reaction to hypocrisy." McConnell, of course, famously blocked former President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, following Antonin Scalia's death in February 2016, due to it being an election year. Catherine Garcia