Shortly after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a forceful defense of embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on the Senate floor, top Judiciary Committee Republicans on Monday sounded notes of both exasperation and defiance in the face of what they have characterized as last-minute "smears."
Despite calls to delay the hearing pending an FBI investigation from top Democrats, including California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Thursday hearing still appears likely to occur.
Republicans have sought to avoid the optics of having their all-male contingent on the Judiciary Committee question a woman accusing their party's nominee of sexual assault, while Ford's lawyers explicitly requested that only senators ask questions.
However, legal experts tell Fox News, a ninth justice could be seated mid-term and rule on cases that are in progress.
"The term after Justice Scalia died, the Court took forever to schedule the most controversial cases for argument—that is, they just didn’t schedule them, month after month after month, even as cases granted later were scheduled and argued," John Elwood, a prominent Washington, D.C. appellate lawyer who has argued several cases for the Supreme Court, told Fox News.