Key Senators Undecided As Senate Poised To Vote On Kavanaugh

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Representative Image

Ramirez accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a dorm party while they were freshmen at Yale University.

Manchin is the only Democrat who's likely to vote in favor of Kavanaugh. Jeff Flake and Susan Collins, noted the FBI did a "thorough" job with the investigation, and that there was no evidence in the report to corroborate Ford's claims.

The Senate's showdown roll call confirmation vote is expected Saturday afternoon.

"I do not believe these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court", Collins told lawmakers in a speech from the floor of the chamber.

Grassley is also requesting the notes from couples therapy Blasey Ford was in with her husband in 2012, during which he says she talked about the alleged assault. "It just may be that in my view, he's not the right man for the court at this time".

Do the senators have to vote the same way on a final vote?

Republican Senator Susan Collins and Joe Manchin, a Democrat, both indicated their backing for the judge on Friday, BBC reported. Collins also intimated that Ford may have been used by "people who wanted to engineer" Kavanaugh's defeat and "cared little about her well-being". Senators were allowed to read it behind closed doors in a secure location in the Capitol, without taking notes or making copies. In a video shared widely on Twitter, Schumer said "I think we're going to get arrested". Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of Kavanaugh's most ardent supporters. She carried a sign that said "Respect Female Existence or Expect Our Resistance". Steve Daines to stay at his daughter's wedding in his home state instead of flying to Washington to cast his supporting vote.

Murkowski's opposition to moving ahead wasn't enough to sink Kavanaugh.

Ms Murkowski won her seat as a write-in candidate after having lost the Republican primary in 2010 and has been a reliably centrist vote ever since. She was re-elected in 2016.

Flake, R-Ariz., was one of the last hurdles in Kavanaugh's path to the high court after allegations of sexual assault decades ago created sudden drama over a confirmation that once seemed inevitable. In a letter to the Senate, the American Bar Association said it was reevaluating Kavanaugh, despite having previously supported his nomination. And it may have made a difference: The senator told NBC News she did not make her final decision "until walking into the floor this morning". Yesterday I reviewed the supplemental Federal Bureau of Investigation report three times to ensure I was fully briefed on its findings. "I found Christine Ford's testimony to be very heart-wrenching, painful and compelling".

Standing in Kavanaugh's way are a handful of key swing votes. That was the day's first GOP victory in the spellbinding battle that's been fought against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement and stalwart conservative support for Trump. "I look forward to his confirmation to the Supreme Court". "I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said", Kavanaugh wrote. But he concluded the judge was "a qualified jurist who will follow the Constitution". Voting against her party on a procedural vote only to turn around and support confirmation would be an unusual path.

Still, she sent signals that Kavanaugh had cleared a hurdle by reassuring her that he believed the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on abortion rights is settled law.

Three of the four voted for cloture to advance Kavanaugh - Flake, Collins and, surprisingly to some, Manchin. If confirmed, he would deepen conservative control of the court.

Interested in Supreme Court?

Collins, who sits next to Murkowski, leaned over and put her hand on the arm of Murkowski's chair.

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