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Senate near Kavanaugh approval after epic struggle

09 October 2018

Republicans control the Senate by a meagre 51-49.

Murkowski and Manchin were two of the final holdouts on how they would vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation, along with Republican Sens. Joe Manchin, voted to move forward. Sen.

Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 margin, and Saturday's roll call vote seemed assured to be almost party-line, with just a single defector from each side.

Republicans control the Senate by a meager 51-49 margin, and announcements of support Friday from Republicans Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of ME, along with Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, locked in the needed votes.

Murkowski ultimately withdrew herself from the final tally as a gesture of goodwill toward her Republican colleague, Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., said he would be attending his daughter's wedding in Montana on Saturday.

Trump's first exuberant response to the vote came in a tweet as he flew to Topeka, Kansas for a campaign rally that is likely to become a raucous victory lap.

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". "He's a good man, he's clearly a learned judge, but in my conscience, because that's how I have to vote at the end of the day, I could not conclude that he is the right person for the court at this time", she said.

"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.

Ford agreed to testify in a high-profile hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27.

Democrats said the allegations were credible and deserved a full investigation, while Republicans accused Democrats of using uncorroborated allegations to scuttle or delay the nomination - leading to a stream of angry flashpoints between lawmakers.

If Kavanaugh is confirmed, Trump will have succeeded in having his two picks seated on the court - tilting it decidedly to the right in a major coup for the Republican leader less than halfway through his term.

A few hundred protesters are gathering outside the Capitol before the vote. White House Counsel Don McGahn, who helped salvage Kavanaugh's nomination as it teetered, sat in the front row of the visitors' gallery for the vote with deputy White House press secretary Raj Shah.

Brett Kavanaugh sworn in as Supreme Court justice
That rare procedural maneuver left Kavanaugh with the same two-vote margin he'd have had if Murkowski and Daines had both voted. Kavanaugh appeared to have the support of every Republican but one, meaning his confirmation was all but assured.

"I believe his words and judicial philosophy are what every member of the Senate, Republican or Democrat, should require from their nominee".

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (KEER'-sten JIHL'-uh-brand) of NY says there's one fundamental question for senators when they decide Kavanaugh's fate: "Do we, as a country, value women?"

Murkowski said it was time for the Senate to improve its process and level of respect for each other and those involved in congressional processes.

Bush also reaffirmed his commitment to Kavanaugh after Ford and other accusers brought allegations of sexual misconduct against the nominee. "We will get you out of office". Manchin followed her lead.

"The ideals of justice that have served our nation for so long are on display", he said, calling the last two weeks a "disgraceful spectacle".

Ford had accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in 1982 when they both were in high school. They also sought to paint him as a justice that would swing the court deeply to the right.

It's all expected to conclude Saturday afternoon with a final roll call nearly solidly along party lines. He said his views are "deeply at odds with the progress America has made in the last century of jurisprudence and at odds with what most Americans believe". Support from Collins and Manchin would give Kavanaugh at least 51 votes, assuming no one else changes their stance.

"Either Sen. Collins VOTES NO on Kavanaugh OR we fund her future opponent", the campaign, hosted by Crowdpac, is titled.

The closest confirmation votes for a Supreme Court nominee were decided by a single vote.

Kavanaugh defended his behavior in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal late Thursday, in which he expressed some regret for his fiery attack on Democrats.

"We care, and we want to show the world that we care, and I've partnered and am working with USAID", Trump said, referring to the U.S. Agency for International Development.

He added: "I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad. Do you mind telling me so I can read about him?"

Senate near Kavanaugh approval after epic struggle