Brett Kavanaugh Key US senators back embattled Supreme Court choice

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This isn't the first time Murkowski has faced the potential consequences of her votes. Hundreds have been arrested on Capitol Hill this week.

Hours before the undecided senators indicated their backing, the US Senate narrowly advanced President Donald Trump's nominee to a final vote by voting to strictly limit debate on the issue. Joe Manchin on Friday after he announced he'll vote yes to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, drowning him out as he tried to explain his decision.

While Democrats' defeat was all but certain, the Senate remained in session overnight, though the chamber was mostly empty. Trump has come down firmly on the other side - saying he's anxious the movement is unfairly targeting men.

Trump said he watched the saga and watched Kavanaugh suffer "with false statements made about him, things that never happened". Still, Collins said, the allegations "fail to meet the "more likely than not" standard", and "I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court".

"Millions of Americans, millions of women are watching us today", said New York Sen.

Without weighing in on the sexual assault allegations that Ford leveled against Kavanaugh, Mrs. Trump says victims of "any kind of abuse or violence" must be helped.

While many senators say they were satisfied with the FBI probe, her lawyers say the investigation was insufficient. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), another key vote, voted yes on the motion to cloture. Sen.

The showdown drew raucous demonstrators, largely anti-Kavanaugh, to the Capitol, where they raised tensions by confronting lawmakers despite an intensified police presence.

In a Senate speech that was disrupted by protesters before it began and met with applause from GOP senators when it ended, Collins declared, "I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh". They said he also seemed ready to knock down President Barack Obama's health care law and to rule for Trump if federal authorities probing his 2016 campaign's alleged connections to Russian Federation try to pursue him in court. And my heart goes out to anyone who has experienced any type of sexual assault in their life.

Flake has said that he wants to see a conservative like Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, but has wavered on his vote after an emotional hearing last week with Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, and a fiery, partisan defense from Kavanaugh.

They held signs reading "Kava Nope" and "Shame, Collins", the latter a reference to the announcement by Sen.

"On this vote the yeas are 51, the nos are 49".

Collins hasn't opposed any Supreme Court nominee since she was elected to the Senate in 1996.

A recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll showed in fact that the Republicans have narrowed the enthusiasm gap with Democrats in the past few weeks.

When she finished, Collins received applause from the roughly two dozen GOP senators present.

"I have no doubt", Trump said, telling reporters that he had chosen Kavanaugh, in part, because "there's nobody with a squeaky-clean past like Brett Kavanaugh". "And that is hard". As the tally neared an end, she spoke with Collins, a friend. Steve Daines, R-Mont., who is attending his daughter's wedding in Montana.

Ramirez says in a statement released by her lawyers that the Federal Bureau of Investigation refused to speak to witnesses who could corroborate her story.

There is no guarantee that the senators who supported moving forward will back Mr Kavanaugh on the final vote.

Midterm politics will also play a role in this weekend's vote, notably red-state Democrats, like Manchin, who are up for re-election in November and have to win over Republicans to win again themselves.

Speaking to reporters on Air Force One as he flew to Kansas for a political rally, Trump said he was "very, very, very happy" about the vote and said Kavanaugh will be "a brilliant Supreme Court justice for many years". But Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY forecast gains for his party instead: "Change must come from where change in America always begins: the ballot box".

The climactic 50-48 roll call capped a fight that seized the national conversation after claims emerged that he had sexually assaulted women three decades ago - allegations he emphatically denied.

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