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Senate paves way for Kavanaugh confirmation

Senate paves way for Kavanaugh confirmation

Capping a venomous struggle that transfixed Americans when it veered into claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted women in the 1980s and his fierce denials, the 53-year-old conservative's nomination was on track for afternoon approval.

Key Senators Susan Collins and Joe Manchin said they will vote yes on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court - all but ensuring his confirmation. Manchin released his statement declaring his support for Kavanaugh shortly after Collins finished her speech - and after Republicans had already secured enough votes to confirm the judge, meaning that Manchin would not be the deciding vote.

Their support makes Saturday's vote to confirm Kavanaugh an apparent formality after a battle that riveted the nation for almost a month.

Confirmation would be a crowning achievement for Trump, his conservative base and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Kavanaugh would replace the retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was a swing vote on issues such as abortion, campaign finance and same-sex marriage.

She praised his judicial record and argued there was no corroboration of sexual assault charges made against him by psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford.

The Kavanaugh fight has riveted Americans just weeks before November 6 elections in which Democrats are trying to take control of Congress from the Republicans. Both he and Collins attempted to express a belief that Dr. Blasey Ford was assaulted, but not by Kavanaugh.

Mr Kavanaugh has been embroiled in a bitter battle to stave off sexual assault allegations.

Senator Collins said: "We will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness".




Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) walks to the Senate floor for a cloture vote on the nomination of Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court, at the U.S. Capitol, October 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. But he said he will because he considers Kavanaugh a "qualified jurist who will follow the Constitution". Manchin faces extraordinary political pressure.

So what you see here is allies of the president going after the people who - even Democrats who voted for Brett Kavanaugh, so still a very highly political moment here.

On Friday, the Senate voted 51-49 to move Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination to a final confirmation vote that is expected to take place Saturday. "It just may be that in my view he's not the right man for the court at this time", Murkowski told reporters after voting to oppose Kavanaugh in a procedural vote Friday morning. He's referring to billionaire investor George Soros, who has always been accused of supporting protesters and election interference.

"The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don't fall for it!" he tweeted.

President Trump watched very closely as all this drama played out on the Hill.

Some accused the USA president of peddling anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

Republicans need every vote they can get, so the Manchin yes to advance to a vote has some Democrats and Republicans on high alert, especially as a result of the Murkowski defection from how her fellow Republicans went.

Murkowski in contrast, defied her party and voted against advancing the nomination.

While her "no" vote on the motion to end debate suggested Murkowski is inclined to oppose Kavanaugh, the senator sounded as if she was still anguished and uncertain.

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