The fate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will be decided in the next three days and they are going to be lit. Here is how it will (and is already) going down in the Senate.

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Wednesday: Cloture motion day
The FBI wrapped up its background investigation into Kavanaugh sending a report to the White House on Wednesday. Across town on Capitol Hill, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., simultaneously filed a motion to invoke cloture on the nomination. Read excerpts from his remarks here.

What is cloture? The parliamentary procedure for limiting debate and scheduling a final floor vote on the nomination. Now the Senate must vote on the cloture motion. But, per Senate rules, they must wait two days until after it has been filed.

Thursday: Ripening day
Before the Senate can vote on cloture, in parliamentary parlance, the motion must “ripen” for one day. That day is today, Thursday, and it gives senators time to review the FBI report. But here is the thing about that report—there is only one. Literally.

The FBI only sent the Senate a single copy of their findings for all 100 senators review. It was delivered at 2:30AM and it sits inside a secure vault in the basement of Congress what’s called the Sensitive Compartment Information Facility. Senators can read the report there and nowhere else.

The investigation is essentially another background check, the seventh of Kavanaugh’s career. Because background checks aren’t normally made public, we won’t know exactly what is in the report. We can guess based off of the reactions of key senators, though.

Watch these senators:

  • Centrist Republicans like Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake of Arizona, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, each of whom supported the supplementary FBI investigation.
  • Red-state Democrats like Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia each of whom voted for Trump’s last Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

Republican leadership already says the FBI report clears Kavanaugh: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, says the investigation “found no hint of misconduct.”

Democrat leadership says the opposite: Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., complained that the FBI didn’t have enough time to investigate and that the White House “constrained the FBI from getting all the facts.”

Expect this back and forth to continue as both sides publicly construe the private report to support their position on the nomination.

Friday: First vote day

McConnell doesn’t believe in wasting time . He has scheduled the vote for one hour after the Senate comes to order Friday.

It is important to note that only a simple majority (51 senators, or in the case of a tie, 50 senators plus the vice president) is needed for a successful cloture vote. Until recently this wasn’t the case. Achieving cloture once required three-fifths of the Senate. Absent that supermajority of 60 votes, a single senator could force debate indefinitely. It was the last ditch defense of the minority and it was called the filibuster. It no longer exists after the Senate changed its rules.

Read more about why they changed the rules and why that was a big mistake for Democrats here.

Saturday: Final vote day

If the Senate votes for cloture on Friday, they will limit debate for 30 additional hours. This means that if the Senate votes for cloture at 12:00PM then the soonest the Senate can vote would be 6:00PM Saturday evening.

Again confirmation only requires a simple majority, either 51 senators or 50 senators plus one vice president. Last time around, Gorsuch was confirmed to the Supreme Court 54-45. Chances are good that the margins will be tighter this time around.