Senate heads to final vote on Kavanaugh

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a vulnerable Senate Democrat, voted yes on the motion to cloture and might signal that he might vote to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

This despite a no vote from Republican Lisa Murkowski - who broke with her party, saying Kavanaugh is the wrong man for theses times.... Susan Collins, R-Maine, that she planned to vote in support of the controversial Kavanaugh.

Announcements by Republican Susan Collins of ME and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia that they'll support the conservative jurist made Saturday's confirmation vote a formality, an anticlimactic finale to a battle that riveted the nation for almost a month.

In Egypt Saturday, during her first solo trip overseas, First Lady Melania Trump told reporters that she has told him to put his phone down and stop tweeting and that she doesn't always agree with the president's sentiments.'I don't always agree with what he tweets, and I tell him that, ' she told reporters. But emotional testimony Ford delivered to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, and the judge's own explosive and partisan performance, raised doubts about his temperament and left his hopes hanging by a thread. "It's just not worth it". "We've sort of been under assault, and everybody chose to stand up to the mob and not be intimated by these people", he said.

Without a shift in those who have already announced their votes, Murkowski's vote of "present" will not affect the nomination outcome.

The White House, McConnell said, "took some grief for a decision they didn't make" - referring to the scope of the FBI's background investigation into allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted two women in separate instances decades ago.

On the other side, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY called the fight "a sorry epilogue to the brazen theft of Justice Scalia's seat".

McConnell, overseeing a razor-thin 51-49 GOP majority, said he became confident he had the votes only when the roll call happened Friday morning, when the Senate narrowly moved to advance Kavanaugh's nomination.

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".

Kavanaugh's confirmation leaves the Senate traumatized with Republicans and Democrats as estranged as at any time in recent memory, reflecting the cavernous divides in the country itself during a presidency that has ignited rare political passions.

Republicans control the Senate by a meager 51-49 margin.

Kavanaugh becomes the nation's 114th Supreme Court justice and President Trump's second appointment to the court, creating a conservative majority on the nation's highest court for years to come.

Koegler said he had a copy of a June 29 email thread where Ford identified her alleged assaulter as President Trump's "favorite for SCOTUS".

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who has repeatedly battled Trump and will retire in January, said he'd vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation "unless something big changes".

"What left wing groups and their Democratic allies have done to Judge Kavanaugh is nothing short of monstrous", Republican Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa declared before the vote.

When Trump nominated Kavanaugh in July, Democrats leapt to oppose him, saying that past statements and opinions showed he'd be a threat to the Roe v. Wade case that assured the right to abortion.

Kavanaugh was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts and retired Justice Anthony Kennedy Saturday evening.

Protests have been ongoing throughout the Capitol grounds and Senate office buildings over the past few weeks since Christine Blasey Ford came forward with her allegation of sexual misconduct against the president's nominee.

The Senate Judiciary Committee says the Federal Bureau of Investigation also interviewed two alleged eyewitnesses to the incident named by Ramirez and one of her college friends.

  • Jon Douglas