Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Kavanaugh all but assured of surviving Supreme Court fight

Kavanaugh all but assured of surviving Supreme Court fight

With a quiet thumbs up vote Friday, Manchin became the only Democrat to cross party lines and support moving Kavanaugh's nomination to Saturday's final vote. But Collins said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had found no corroborating evidence from witnesses whose names Ford had provided.

Manchin used an emailed statement to announce his support for Kavanaugh moments after Collins finished talking.

However, some Republicans were concerned that Flake would change his mind, since he had called for a delay in the vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation to allow the FBI to conduct a brief investigation into the allegations against the judge.

Flake's "yes" vote - combined with his comments Thursday that the FBI's supplemental investigation had been thorough and provided no corroborating evidence of the allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez - suggested he would nearly certainly be a "yes" on final confirmation. Rolling Stone points out that Collins "won reelection in ME with 67 percent of the vote in 2014, but her home state support has dropped in recent months".

With Collins and Manchin publicly on board, Kavanaugh had the votes Friday evening to be confirmed to the high court.

"I believe that Judge Kavanaugh is a good man".

In an interview with The Washington Post ahead of Kavanaugh's near-certain confirmation on Saturday afternoon, the Kentucky Republican again underscored his confidence in Kavanaugh's innocence while decrying the "mob" of protesters who had descended on GOP senators.

With just hours before the vote, more than 1,000 protesters, mostly women, broke through barricades and staged a raucous sit-in protest on the US Capitol steps, just feet away from the imposing doors to the Rotunda. As the clerk read names in alphabetical order on a procedural vote to move the nomination forward, all eyes were on Murkowski.

They held signs reading "Kava Nope" and "Shame, Collins", the latter a reference to the announcement by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) voted no on the motion to cloture. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., released a statement announcing that he too would support Kavanaugh's nomination to the high court, all but sealing the confirmation.

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"If both are believable, we must still find a way to analyze the evidence to help us reach a conclusion", Kyl said. A final vote is expected over the weekend.

As of Saturday morning, the campaign has raised over $3 million to support Collins' defeat. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., sat directly in front of Collins and pivoted his seat around to face her.

Mr Trump praised the Senate, tweeting: "Very proud of the U.S. Senate for voting "YES" to advance the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh!". And there is some sense that Manchin, despite the fact that Trump won his state by 43 points and he is up for reelection in 32 days, wouldn't be willing to be the 50th (and deciding) vote on Kavanaugh. Angus King, I-Maine, who spoke before him, criticizing the judge's demeanor in his aggressive testimony last week before the Judiciary Committee.

He added: "I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad".

Collins took pains to say she believes Ford suffered a sexual assault that "has upended her life", but said she was not convinced Kavanaugh was the culprit.

Republicans control the Senate by a meagre 51-49. "It was very hurtful", she said.

Still, she sent signals that Kavanaugh had cleared a hurdle by reassuring her that he believed the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on abortion rights is settled law.

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.

Kavanaugh's nomination as a replacement for retiring justice Anthony Kennedy was controversial from the start - but the initial focus was exclusively on the conservative views held by the married father of two.

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