Senate moves to final vote on controversial Trump's Supreme Court pick Kavanaugh

Breaking Flake Is Officially a 'Yes' on Kavanaugh

Republican Senator Susan Collins announced her support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh Friday afternoon, strongly boosting chances that the judge will be confirmed.

The dramatic Senate floor announcement by perhaps the chamber's most moderate Republican ended most of the suspense over a tortuous, election-season battle that had left Kavanaugh's fate in doubt for almost a month after the first accusation against him.

In the United States judicial system, a judge of the Supreme Court is confirmed by the Senate for life.

The Senate is expected to vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation Saturday. A formal investiture ceremony will take place at a later date, the Supreme Court also said.

The Senate vote was 50-48.Only one Democrat, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, joined Republicans in backing Kavanaugh.

He faces a competitive re-election race next month in a state which Mr Trump carried in 2016 by 42 percentage points.

"It's turned our base on fire", declared Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

All four lawmakers who'd been undeclared said little or nothing to reporters as they left the chamber. "We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy". "I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh".

Kavanaugh's confirmation was thrown into doubt after a tense Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week, in which Christine Blasey Ford alleged the Supreme Court nominee had sexually assaulted her when they were in high school in the 1980s.

The lawyers of both women have also complained that several witnesses they had offered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to corroborate their claims had not been contacted at all.

Murkowski, the only Republican to vote against advancing Kavanaugh's nomination during Friday's cloture vote, made clear that while her final vote will be recorded as "present" she remains opposed to confirming the nominee.

While the vote was a victory for the GOP, lawmakers can vote differently on the climactic confirmation roll call, and Collins told reporters she would announce later Friday how she would go.

The outcome, telegraphed Friday when the final undeclared senators revealed their views, was devoid of the shocks that had come nearly daily since Christine Blasey Ford said last month that an inebriated Kavanaugh tried to rape her at a 1982 high school get-together.

But even if a majority of the House votes to impeach Kavanaugh, two-thirds of the Senate would need to vote to remove him, making the likelihood of his ousting from the court very small.

Asked if he was previously questioning female senators' work commitment, Grassley said male senators actually had worse work habits.

Flake, like Collins, believed that the FBI investigation, which did not corroborate the sexual assault allegations, was thorough. That would let Kavanaugh win by the same two-vote margin he'd have received had both senators voted.

Hours before the undecided senators indicated their backing, the US Senate narrowly advanced President Donald Trump's nominee to a final vote by voting to end debate on the issue.

The vote also occurred against a backdrop of smouldering resentment by partisans on both sides.

Kavanaugh's confirmation hinges on the votes of some other key moderate senators including Sen.



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