Swing votes Collins, Manchin say they will vote for Kavanaugh

Cooper Nothing about Kavanaugh process typical

The Senate vote on confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is certain to be close, even if the outcome is no longer suspenseful.

Their move meant that McConnell could forge the narrowest of majorities to clear Kavanaugh, despite the fact that another Republican, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, opposed him. One GOP senator was absent during the vote because of his daughter's wedding thousands of miles from Washington, D.C.

"What left wing groups and their Democratic allies have done to Judge Kavanaugh is nothing short of monstrous", the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Iowa's Chuck Grassley, said before the vote. Susan Collins and Jeff Flake. He could then be sworn in as an associate justice as early as next week. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the constitutional oath and retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy administered the judicial oath, according to the Supreme Court. They said he also seemed ready to rule for Trump if federal authorities probing his 2016 campaign's connections to Russian Federation try to pursue him in court.

And Trump told Kansas rallygoers that he will hold a ceremonial swearing-in for Kavanaugh at the White House Monday evening. A final vote is expected over the weekend. The session was presided over by Pence.

In the Capitol, however, both senators won praise from their colleagues.

The math is breaking in Kavanaugh's favor as the climax drew near for a spellbinding, election-season fight that's been fought against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement and stalwart conservative support for President Donald Trump. Flake demanded the limited FBI investigation last week after being cornered in an elevator by screaming protesters moments before a Senate Judiciary Committee vote to recommend Kavanaugh's nomination.

He said Saturday he thinks Republicans "are going to do incredibly well" in the elections after Kavanaugh's confirmation.

With the political world holding its breath, Collins spoke of a lack of "corroborating evidence" to back up Ford's claims that Kavanaugh was the man who assaulted her more than three decades ago.

Republicans "conducted one of the least transparent, least fair, most biased processes in Senate history, slanting the table from the very beginning to produce their desired result", he added.

Yet Mr Kavanaugh's pathway to confirmation seemed unfettered until Ms Ford accused him of drunkenly sexually assaulting her in a locked bedroom at a 1982 high school gathering.

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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. "FBI investigation was done, is completed and Senate voted".

Trump also revealed that he believed a widely criticized rally speech in which he mocked Ford's Senate testimony had been a turning point for the nomination, changing the momentum in his favor. Protesters were also heard shouting from the Senate gallery during the roll call. Capitol police led protesters away one by one. But Manchin said he in the end he concluded that Kavanaugh was a "qualified jurist".

"The White House took grief for setting the scope, but we gave them the scope", said McConnell of Kentucky. A few Democrats sat stone-faced nearby.

Murkowski is next up for re-election in 2022. She next faces voters in 2022.

Two key senators, Republican Susan Collins and Democrat Joe Manchin, both regarded as swing votes, said they would support Judge Kavanaugh after weeks of intense debate about sexual violence that gripped the nation. Flake announced Friday morning that he would support Kavanaugh's confirmation, reiterating his statement of support the previous week.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on the Senate floor before the vote, raised concerns that Kavanaugh would vote to overturn Roe v Wade - the 1973 decision that found a constitutional right to abortion - and was extreme on gun rights. I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault and that this trauma has upended her life. I TOLD YOU AT THE TIME THAT WAS IN CONFIDENCE!' the messages read. "I do hope that Judge Kavanaugh will not allow the partisan nature this process took to follow him onto the court".

"Professor Ford has not asked for anything of the sort", attorney Debra Katz said to CNN.

"This nominee was interviewing for a job in front of the American people, and he was belligerent, evasive and aggressive", she said.

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