Senate Advances Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court Nomination

Geraldine Edwards
October 7, 2018

That final vote is expected as soon as Saturday.

The Senate voted 51-49 to approve Kavanaugh in the procedural cloture vote, with one Republican, Lisa Murkowski, opposing going forward while one Democrat, Joe Manchin, voted to move ahead.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine., spoke on the Senate floor about her vote on Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, today, in the Capitol in Washington.

Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Sen.

But logistically and politically, Maine Republican Susan Collins could be the most important vote in deciding whether Kavanaugh is eventually confirmed this weekend.

"But Democrats had pointed to not only the sexual assault allegations, which they described" but also questions about Kavanaugh's temperament during the hearing last week and whether he had lied about his drinking during high school and college, and what certain references in his high school yearbook meant.

Judge was also grilled about other allegations besides Ford's, according to the Judiciary Committee. "What left wing groups and their Democratic allies have done to judge Brett Kavanaugh is nothing short of monstrous", he said.

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"What we know for sure is the Federal Bureau of Investigation report did not corroborate any of the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh", McConnell said at a press conference.

White House officials acknowledged Thursday they were unsure whether they had the 50 votes needed to clear the procedural hurdle, with Vice President Mike Pence able to, as president of the Senate, provide the decisive 51st.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who has repeatedly battled Trump and will retire in January, said he would vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation "unless something big changes". Steve Daines, R-Mont., said he would be attending his daughter's wedding in Montana on Saturday.

The jockeying for final votes to confirm Kavanaugh is playing out as the senators review the highly anticipated report from the FBI investigating two allegations of decades-old sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh.

With their narrow margin in the Senate, Republicans can only afford to lose one vote if all Democrats vote against Kavanaugh.

In the wake of his testimony, the National Council of Churches encouraged Senators to vote no on his confirmation, and over 2,400 law professors from across the country signed an open letter in the New York Times opposing his confirmation.

The FBI sent Congress documents detailing additional interviews about Kavanaugh that the agency conducted at the request of some Republican and Democratic senators.

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Flake - along with Republican Sen.

Ford, who testified before the judiciary committee in Washington on September 27, alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982, when they were high school students. Kavanaugh could provide the decisive vote to roll back abortion rights, outlaw affirmative action programs and slash environmental regulations.

Kavanaugh called the allegations "an orchestrated political hit", and Republican Senators slammed Democrats for using the allegations to stall and delay the confirmation process. A source familiar with the lobbying efforts to confirm Kavanaugh told Fox News that the White House believes it has the votes to confirm Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegation, as well as those from two other women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.

Several recent polls show that Republican enthusiasm about voting, which had lagged behind Democrats, jumped after a contentious Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week. They said he also seemed ready to knock down President Barack Obama's health care law and to rule for Trump if federal authorities probing his 2016 campaign's alleged connections to Russian Federation try to pursue him in court.

Among those interviewed were Mark Judge, PJ Smyth, and Leland Keyser, the three other teens that Christine Blasey Ford said were at a house party where she alleged that a drunken Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982.

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