Kavanaugh nomination clears key Senate hurdle

That previous vote was to limit debate, meaning Kavanaugh's nomination will get a vote probably Saturday. Some of these protests involved cornering unsure senators and asking them to vote against Kavanaugh. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), voted for him.

Addressing the intensity of the opposition from protesters and Democrats, McConnell said: "We've literally been under assault by the mob". On Friday, more than 100 people were detained.

A failure to advance Kavanaugh's nomination would deliver a potentially fatal blow to Donald Trump's embattled supreme court pick, who has faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. In between, a line of Capitol police officers is standing with plastic handcuffs clipped to their belts.

A final confirmation vote is expected Saturday. Deborah Ramirez, a second accuser who said Kavanaugh exposed himself to her while the two attended Yale University, voiced similar frustration.

The senator said she spoke with Judge Kavanaugh in her office for two hours, an additional hour on the phone and dozens of her own constituents before making her decision.

Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were teenagers, was not interviewed as part of the investigation, one of her attorneys, Debra Katz, told ABC News, calling the move a "grave injustice". Kavanaugh has denied all allegations.

Flake's "yes" vote - combined with his comments Thursday that the FBI's supplemental investigation had been thorough and provided no corroborating evidence of the allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez - suggest he will nearly certainly be a "yes" on final confirmation.

His promotion to the Supreme Court will also stand as a demoralizing defeat for Democrats who battled hard to block the 53-year-old judge at all costs.

Kavanaugh's confirmation would be a big victory for Trump just weeks before the November congressional elections - giving the court a 5 to 4 conservative majority for legal battles ahead - on abortion, immigration, and transgender rights. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), voted against him.

The closest confirmation votes for a Supreme Court nominee were decided by a single vote.

Republicans can only lose a single GOP vote if all Democrats vote against the nomination.

The vice president can vote in the event of a Senate tie.

"I believe that Brett Kavanaugh is a good man".

The first lady is wrapping up a four-country tour of Africa. Mr Flake has been a frequent critic of Mr Trump but said he would vote yes, barring any major changes in evidence.

The accusations against Kavanaugh energized the #MeToo social media movement that emerged after high-profile accusations of sexual assault and harassment by men in politics, the media and the entertainment industry. A final vote is expected Saturday.

Every Republican but one, Sen. Only after the hearings did she come forward with the allegations, stalling the confirmation. "And that's what happened", Cotton said.

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Manchin used an emailed statement to announce his support for Kavanaugh moments after Collins finished affirming hers. It is an anticlimactic finale to a battle that riveted the nation for almost a month.

Even as Vice President Mike Pence, president of the Senate, called the roll for the vote, protesters shouted from outside the chamber.

Trump tweeted his support Kavanaugh and praised crowds gathered at the Capitol to support the nominee.

  • Leroy Wright