Brett Kavanaugh wins vote that brings him closer to Supreme Court role

Posted October 07, 2018

The Senate voted to officially advance the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The final confirmation vote in the full Senate is expected Saturday.

Republicans hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate. In the closely divided chamber, Alaska's Lisa Murkowski was the only Republican voting to stop the nomination, West Virginia's Joe Manchin the sole Democrat to keep it alive. U.S. President Donald Trump said protesters' resistance was backfiring.

Among the wavering Republicans who voted yes were Sens.

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Today's vote is not necessarily an indicator of the outcome of tomorrow's final ballot and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Republican leaders were still not sure they had the votes needed to confirm Mr Kavanaugh, Mr Trump's second nominee to the court since he took office in January a year ago.

Following the hearing, Republican Senator Jeff Flake voted to move Kavanaugh through the Senate Judiciary Committee but said he would require a supplementary FBI investigation in order to vote to confirm him on the Senate floor.

Vice President Mike Pence was ready to cast a tie-breaking vote if needed.

But after the emotional day-long testimonies, Democratic Senators called for the FBI to investigate the allegations against Kavanaugh before lawmakers voted on his confirmation.

Confirmation would be a crowning achievement for Trump, his conservative base and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. He accused Democrats of emboldening protesters: "They have encouraged mob rule". He was slated to fly to NY for three fundraisers.

They protested after an Federal Bureau of Investigation report which Republicans say exonerates him of sexual assault claims, with Democrats complaining it is too limited.

UNITED STATES- SEPTEMBER 27 Sen. Lindsey Graham R-S.C. points at the Democrats as he defends Judge Brett Kavanaugh during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States focus
US Senate: Don't Approve Kavanaugh Nomination

During an interview Friday morning on NPR, White House spokeswoman Kerri Kupec echoed that view, saying: "We are confident Judge Kavanaugh will be confirmed". Collins and how she is likely to respond, Bennett to NEWS CENTER Maine he believes Collins will do what she has done in the past, by exercising her own judgment, which he believes Maine voters have trusted during her four terms in the Senate. They were surrounded by colleagues from both parties after the vote.

President Trump praised the Republican-led Senate, tweeting he was "Very proud" it managed to advance Kavanaugh's nomination.

Senators held a procedural "roll call" poll on whether to advance Kavanaugh's nomination further, with 51 senators voting in favour. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters on Thursday.

Republicans said rejecting Kavanaugh's nomination wouldn't be fair because there was no corroborating evidence. They said he also seemed ready to rule for Trump if federal authorities probing allegations of connections between the president's 2016 campaign and Russian Federation tried to pursue him in court.

"I believe Brett Kavanaugh is a good man", Murkowski told reporters, but she said he is "not the right man for the Court".

Most Democrats opposed his nomination from the outset but their objections sharpened Mrs Ford and two other women accused Mr Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during the 1980s while he was a high school and college student. Kavanaugh and Democratic senators scowled and shouted at each other as he angrily, and sometimes tearfully, denied the claims.

It is fair to assume that Manchin won't announce his vote on Kavanaugh until after Collins makes her move.

A fuming Kavanaugh strode into the same packed hearing room that afternoon and said he, too, was "100 per cent" certain the incident had not occurred.

Democrats also challenged Kavanaugh's honesty, temperament and ability to be nonpartisan after he fumed at last week's Judiciary hearing that Democrats had launched a "search and destroy mission" against him fueled by their hatred of Trump.

Marina Fang contributed reporting.

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