Kavanaugh's confirmation almost certain ahead of Saturday vote

Kavanaugh's confirmation almost certain ahead of Saturday vote

There does remain some suspense about the timing of the final vote.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Friday that she remains a "no" on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh but will vote "present" for Saturday's final vote, which won't affect Kavanaugh's confirmation but will allow Sen.

Collins insisted that her procedural vote for Kavanaugh in the morning had nothing to do with the decision she made in the afternoon, which was delivered through her floor speech and dispersed in writing to inboxes soon after that.

A group gathered there Friday and fell silent when she announced her decision, CNN affiliate WGME reported.

She launched promptly into an attack on the forces arrayed against Kavanaugh, lamenting their hysterical behavior compared to the five other "solemn" Supreme Court confirmations in which she participated. Some wore shirts that said "Confirm Kavanaugh Now", and "I stand with Brett", while others had buttons that said, "Believe Survivors".

On privacy, healthcare, executive power, and his ability to fairly judge the president who nominated him, Donald Trump, Collins one-by-one addressed Kavanaugh's opponents' concerns. If there is a 50-50 tie, Vice President Mike Pence would break it in favor of Kavanaugh. But it wasn't clear at the time that she would be a "yes"' for the nominee.

Ford testified on Capitol Hill this week, after accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both in high school. Kavanaugh, in his own testimony, denied the allegation and argued that partisans were waging a smear campaign against him. And Collins said an Federal Bureau of Investigation report issued Thursday that found no evidence corroborating Ford's story gave her no reason to deny Kavanaugh's confirmation.

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. Instea, d she only demanded Ford's accusations be "more likely than not" true.

In retrospect the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh may turn out to be a great turning point in US constitutional law as he consummates a hard-core conservative majority likely to break cherished precedents and set a new path on issues ranging from reproductive rights to health care and the environment.

"I have reservations about this vote given the serious accusations against Judge Kavanaugh and the temperament he displayed in the hearings".

Melania (meh-LAH'-nee-ah) Trump is offering some supportive words for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

In the end, three of those four undecideds - Collins, Flake and Manchin - voted to end debate.

At the September 27 Senate hearing into Ford's allegations against Kavanaugh, he fought back with a blistering partisan attack in which he described the allegations against him as a "calculated and orchestrated political hit" masterminded by the Democrats and left-wing groups.

Republicans hold a 51-49 majority in the U.S. Senate, and with the two key senators choosing to vote in favour of Kavanaugh, the confirmation looked locked-in late on Friday.

Here's what she tells reporters traveling with her in Egypt: "I think he's highly qualified for the Supreme Court".

"But it just may be that in my view he's not the right man for the court at this time", she said.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin insinuated she could run against Murkowski in a Republican primary, tweeting, "Hey @lisamurkowski - I can see 2022 from my house". Manchin faces a competitive re-election race next month in a state Trump carried in 2016 by 42 percentage points. Jeff Flake said he would back Kavanaugh. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced in a statement that he too will support the nomination when it comes up for a final vote.