Final Kavanaugh vote nears with confirmation nearly certain

Republican Senator Susan Collins announced her support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh Friday afternoon, strongly boosting chances that the judge will be confirmed.

If confirmed by the Senate, Kavanaugh would replace Justice Anthony Kennedy who announced his retirement early this year.

Seven UK law professors signed a letter saying the Senate should not confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Now that Kavanaugh has cleared the procedural vote, his confirmation, political observers believe would be easy, unless a major last-minute hiccup pops up.

Kavanaugh's path to the court seemed unfettered until mid-September, when Christine Blasey Ford accused him of drunkenly sexually assaulting her in a locked bedroom at a 1982 high school gathering. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., said Friday they would vote to confirm Kavanaugh. "What she did was to come forward and testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee and agree to cooperate with any investigation by the FBI and that's what she sought to do here".

All but one Republican lined up behind him, arguing that a truncated FBI investigation turned up no corroborating witnesses and that Kavanaugh had sterling credentials for the court.

While she respects her colleagues' support for Kavanaugh, Murkowski said, "I also that think we're at a place where we need to think about the credibility and integrity of our institutions".

Dianne Feinstein of California, that committee's top Democrat, said Kavanaugh's testimony at last week's dramatic Judiciary panel hearing should "worry us all", citing "a hostility and belligerence that is unbecoming" of a Supreme Court nominee.

"I watched her with tears in my eyes, because she was honest", Murray said.

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That would mark an anti-climactic finale to a clash fought against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement and Mr Trump's unyielding support of the nominee, and opposing forces that left Mr Kavanaugh's fate in doubt for weeks.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he never considered urging the White House to withdraw Brett M. Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court and called opposition to the judge a "great political gift" for Senate Republicans in next month's midterm elections.

Kavanaugh, 53, appeared headed toward confirmation by the Senate to the high court until an allegation from Christine Blasey Ford surfaced and she went public with her story in a September 16 account in The Washington Post. Two other women also emerged and accused him of other incidents of sexual misconduct.

Kavanaugh's confirmation hinges on the votes of some other key moderate senators including Sen.

"To that leaker, who I hope is listening now, let me say that what you did was unconscionable".

"From the start of this process, I promised my constituents that I would look seriously at Judge Kavanaugh's record and cast my vote based on the facts I have before me and what is best for West Virginia".

Rob in Bellevue said that he doesn't identify as a Republican or Democrat, but agreed that Collins' speech was incredible.

"I believe that Judge Kavanaugh is a good man". "What she was trying to do was what she thought was the right thing to do as a citizen, which is to provide the information to the U.S. Senate so they could make the most informed decision possible".

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