Published: Sun, October 07, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Brett Kavanaugh Senate Cloture Vote

Brett Kavanaugh Senate Cloture Vote

Collins said the accusations against Kavanaugh "fail to meet the more-likely-than-not standard".

If confirmed, Kavanaugh would tip the balance on the court to a 5-4 majority in favour of conservatives in possible legal battles ahead over contentious issues such as abortion rights, immigration, and Trump's attempt to ban transgender people from the US military.

Republicans hold a razor-thin 51-49 majority in the Senate, and can only afford to lose one vote if Democrats vote unanimously against Kavanaugh on Saturday.

The National Council of Churches, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, and over 1,000 law professors have publicly spoken out against his confirmation.

As swing-vote senators processed the FBI's findings, Kavanaugh was forced to fend off another criticism of his nomination: his temperament. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is the fourth undecided senator.

Almost all Democrats have united in opposition against Kavanaugh, including some hailing from conservative states who are in tight reelection races this year.

Kavanaugh penned an op-ed in Thursday's Wall St. Joe Manchin - voted Friday to advance Kavanaugh's nomination to a final Saturday vote.

During a separate interview on Fox on Friday morning, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway called Manchin the "wild card".

The Maine Republican is a key vote for confirming Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Democrats said the allegations were credible and deserved a full investigation, while Republicans accused Democrats of using uncorroborated allegations to scuttle or delay the nomination - leading to a stream of angry flashpoints between lawmakers.

McConnell needs 51 votes to clear the procedural hurdle on Friday. Under that scenario, Vice President Pence would be called upon to break a tie.

Friday's vote occurred a day after the Senate received a roughly 50-page report from the FBI on its reopened investigation of Kavanaugh, which Trump ordered only after wavering GOP senators forced him to do so.

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Four senators still haven't said how they'll vote ― Sens.

But the fight was defined in recent weeks by sexual assault accusations, especially Christine Blasey Ford's allegation that a drunken Kavanaugh tried to rape her at a 1982 high school gathering.

The FBI also did not interview Kavanaugh.

The allegations of a third accuser, Julie Swetnick, were not a focus of the investigation.

Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation would tilt America's highest court in favour of conservatives. "The materials are what they are, and it is now left to senators to reach their conclusions". Today at 3 p.m. - in a speech on the Senate floor - she will announce how she will vote. Mitch McConnell originally scheduled it for Saturday afternoon, but Republican Steve Daines has indicated he will attend his daughter's wedding tomorrow in Montana no matter what the Senate is doing.

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

"It's time to take a stand on the Kavanaugh nomination", Austin-Hillery said.

"I do not believe that those charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court", Collins said.

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". To this day, many Americans believe it was Palin that said "I can see Russian Federation from my house" when in fact the line was delivered by Tina Fey.

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

Kavanaugh, 53, who lives in the Maryland suburbs, is on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and worked in George W. Bush's White House before moving to the federal bench.

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