So the committed "no" votes on Michael Mukasey are up to a whopping nine. The total is likely to climb still higher, but as David pointed out
yesterday, the real battle will take place in the Senate Judiciary Committee
There, the Democrats outnumber the Republicans 10-9. And four Dems have already said
they'll vote no. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has yet to say whether he's made the full journey from "I like him
" to "concerned
" to "no." Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who championed Mukasey, is dodging
the cameras. The rest haven't said. And though ranking member Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) has expressed doubts about Mukasey, it's hard to imagine him actually voting no.
So what would happen if the no votes won? Well, nothing is simple in the Senate. But by far the most likely scenario is that Mukasey's nomination would in fact die there. However, there are some maneuvers whereby Mukasey could still make it on to the Senate floor with the majority of senators on the panel opposing him.
A spokeswoman for Sen. Leahy, however, said that he expects a straightforward vote: âWhile there are other vote options which other senators can motion for in the committee, Sen. Leahy expects a yes-no vote in the committee on Tuesday.â
The other vote options include a vote of "no recommendation" or "negative recommendation." If such votes passed, Mukasey could still go through to the full Senate without the panel's recommendation or with a negative one.
And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has the power to make a motion to discharge the committee of further responsibility for the nomination. If that motion passed in the full Senate, then Mukasey's vote would move out of the committee for a vote on the floor. But the Politico reports that Reid has ruled that option out.
So again, Mukasey's fate will most likely be determined by a straightforward vote in the judiciary Committee.