Brett Kavanaugh sworn in as 114th Supreme Court justice

Breaking Flake Is Officially a 'Yes' on Kavanaugh

Breaking Flake Is Officially a 'Yes' on Kavanaugh

The dramatic Senate floor announcement by perhaps the chamber's most moderate Republican ended most of the suspense over a tortuous, election-season battle that had left Kavanaugh's fate in doubt for almost a month after the first accusation against him.

The vote tally is 51-49, while the fate of full confirmation, which could be as early as Saturday, remains unclear. She has not spoken directly about Kavanaugh, but tweeted about ending Supreme Court debate sessions: "Senate Democrats can delay, obstruct, resist no longer".

In a speech that touched on her "little "believees" about Kavanaugh's judicial record-including her steadfast opinion that he will not vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, despite having somehow garnered a seal of approval from the Federalist Society-Collins declared (with her words, not her actions) that she believes survivors before announcing she "will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh". Manchin, the only Democrat supporting Kavanaugh, faces a competitive re-election race next month in a state Trump carried in 2016 by 42 percentage points.

The Kavanaugh fight has riveted Americans weeks before November 6 elections in which Democrats are trying to take control of Congress from the Republicans.

"We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy", said Collins, perhaps the chamber's most moderate Republican.

If Kavanaugh is approved in a final Senate vote, likely on Saturday, Trump will have achieved a victory in his drive to consolidate conservative dominance of the nation's highest court and move the American judiciary to the right.

Democrats have maintained that the FBI's investigation into Kavanaugh was overly limited in scope by the White House and not sufficiently thorough in its exploration of the allegations against the judge, including those made by Christine Blasey Ford, who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when the two were teenagers. Though, when asked how sure she was that Kavanaugh was the boy who attacked her, Dr. Ford said "100%".

Manchin said in a written statement, "My heart goes out to anyone who has experienced any type of sexual assault in their life".

Collins said she had met with "thousands of my constituents", noting that both supporters and opponents of the judge had given her their opinions in the days since Ford came forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Murkowski said she'd use an obscure procedure that lets one senator offset the absence of another without affecting the outcome, while letting the missing lawmaker's preference appear in the record.

Blasey, a research psychologist in Northern California, publicly accused Kavanaugh of trying to rape her when they were teenagers. That puts the final count at a likely 51-49.

Vice-President Mike Pence, who could have broken a 50-50 tie, watched the vote from the White House.

McConnell (R-Ky.) said on "Ingraham Angle" that he only knew he had enough votes to bring Kavanaugh's nomination to a final vote when the cloture vote roll was called.

Democrat Senator Joe Manchin announced he too will support Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

On Friday he voted to advance the nominee, then told reporters that barring any dramatic changes, he will vote yes on Kavanaugh's confirmation. And it was fought against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement and Trump's unyielding support of his nominee and occasional mocking of Kavanaugh's accusers.

Protesters from both sides of the issue gathered outside his office throughout the day, greeted by police and reporters but no one from the office.

A key procedural vote Friday morning passes with a simple majority and that starts the clock for a final confirmation vote on judge Brett Kavanaugh to happen by Saturday afternoon, October 6 at around 5 p.m.

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