Senator Collins backs Kavanaugh, paving way for confirmation

Senator Collins backs Kavanaugh, paving way for confirmation

Senators had backed Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, in a procedural vote earlier on Friday that moved the Republican-controlled Senate towards a definitive decision.

The concern for some on the left is whether Kavanaugh will be able to put aside several bruising weeks and give all who come before him a fair shake. Joe Manchin said he, too, would back Kavanaugh, ensuring at least 51 "yes" votes in the Senate.

Murkowski and Collins sat quietly and undisturbed at their adjacent desks as a clerk called the roll.

Immediately after Collins' speech, Manchin of West Virginia issued a statement declaring his support.

"I do not believe that those charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court", Collins said.

Murkowski chose the opposite path.

When she finished, Collins received applause from the roughly two dozen GOP senators present. If the cloture votes hold, Republicans may go ahead and vote in Daines' absence and confirm Kavanaugh on a 50-49 vote. She said that the process had not been "fair" to Kavanaugh, but that ultimately it had become about something "bigger than a nominee".

Moments after Collins completed her remarks, Sen.

"Women for Kavanaugh, and many others who support this very good man, are gathering all over Capital Hill in preparation for a 3-5 P.M. VOTE", the president wrote on Twitter.

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

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Rice, whose family is from Portland, Maine, later clarified, saying she's not making any announcements. "All the sympathy I'm seeing right now for Brett Kavanuagh, while she's being mocked, while she's being demeaned", he said.

Another, Republican Lisa Murkowski, said she had not made up her mind on her final vote but suggested she might oppose Mr Kavanaugh. Steve Daines to stay at his daughter's wedding in his home state instead of flying to Washington to cast his supporting vote. Senators often partner like that to allow an absence without affecting the outcome.

Their statements of support brought the number of senators supporting Kavanaugh to 51 in the 100-member chamber. But after watching his testimony, she said, she could not in her conscience conclude "that he is the right person" for the court at this time.

The Senate is set to take a procedural vote at 10:30 a.m., ET Friday to end debate on the nomination. She was re-elected in 2016. He denied those accusations, as well as Ford's, in angry testimony to a Senate committee. For weeks prior, her office also drew threats of violence - as well as the ire of liberal activists who have already raised more than $2 million to fund a Democratic challenger for Collins in 2020.

"I think Judge Kavanaugh is a qualified individual and, while I am respectful of Professor Ford, I don't think the evidence is there to corroborate her claims", Kolbe said.

"I'll be proud to vote to advance this nomination tomorrow", McConnell said on the Senate floor on Thursday.

"All you have to do is look at the polls over the last three or four days and it shows that their rage-fuelled resistance is starting to backfire at a level that no one has ever seen before", he said.

Manchin also said more about why he chose to support the judge.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh arrives for his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. To deny she knows her attacker is to deny her entire story. They were discussing Turner's sentencing when Ford revealed she was assaulted.

Collins had all three cable networks and some broadcast networks airing her words for almost an hour. In her former role as dean of Harvard Law School, she hired Kavanaugh to teach there. Jeff Flake said he would back Kavanaugh. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is the fourth undecided senator. If confirmed, Kavanaugh could tip the court's balance toward conservatives for a generation.