Published: Sat, October 06, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

By 51-49, Senate advances Kavanaugh nomination to final vote

By 51-49, Senate advances Kavanaugh nomination to final vote

The Senate will take a final vote on Kavanaugh's nomination Saturday, with a 51-49 vote along party lines expected.

Moments after Collins pledged to back Kavanaugh, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who is in a tough race for re-election in West Virginia where Trump is popular, also declared his support, leaving little doubt of a Republican victory.

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. Both parties are hoping the bitter struggle will energize their most loyal voters to stream to the polls in less than five weeks, when GOP control of the House and perhaps the Senate is in play. "We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy". In the letter, dated Thursday, Grassley specifically asks for "records and descriptions" of any communications between Blasey Ford and any senators, particularly Democrats Dianne Feinstein of California and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii.

The White House ordered a supplemental Federal Bureau of Investigation background check after a handful of Republicans threatened to withhold their support from Kavanaugh, and senators began reviewing the confidential report on Thursday.

Gonzaga law professors Ann Murphy, Jane Korn and Mary Pat Treauthart said they found Kavanaugh's anger and response to senators' questions troubling.

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"My heart goes out to anyone who has experienced any type of sexual assault in their life".

An FBI inquiry was launched into the sexual assault allegations and other issues after Judge Kavanaugh received initial backing for his nomination in a Senate committee vote last week.

Although she said Mr Kavanaugh was a "good man", she said he was "not the right person for the court at this time" and his "appearance of impropriety has become unavoidable". "Hostile" seems to be the key word for her. Kavanaugh has criticized the landmark 1973 abortion rights decision in a speech and ruled against abortion rights and birth control access a few times as a federal judge, but she seemed to be satisfied with his answer this month on Roe. "Threats or other attempts to bully her will not play a factor in her decision making whatsoever", Annie Clark said in a statement before the senator announced her support for Kavanaugh.

"He will be an illegitimate justice, and his confirmation will mark a point of no return for the Supreme Court's reputation as the one, apolitical branch of government", Fallon said.

She said judges do lean left and right, but in general, the Supreme Court should be above politics.

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Ford claims Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a small party when the two were in high school, but Kavanaugh denies the claims. While the comments by Flake and Collins were positive, neither explicitly announced support for Kavanaugh.


Earlier in the day Friday, it appeared Republicans were facing a complication with their plan to hold a Saturday vote confirming Kavanaugh. Vice President Mike Pence could cast the tie-breaking vote if necessary.

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

"I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh", declared Sen.

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

Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice, a group that opposes Trump's judicial nominees, said Kavanaugh would join the court "with a cloud over his head".

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