Kavanaugh nomination clears key Senate hurdle

07 October, 2018, 00:36 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Sen. Steve Daines talks with reporters Friday on Capitol Hill

"I believe [Kavanaugh] is a good man", Murkowski said Friday.

After remaining undecided on whether Kavanaugh's nomination should move forward, Murkowski rendered her decision Friday in dramatic fashion.

The votes of the four senators are crucial because Republicans control the Senate by a razor-thin 51-49 margin and can afford only one defection. Flake announced Friday morning that he would support Kavanaugh's confirmation, reiterating his statement of support the previous week.

In a speech lasting more than 40 minutes, Collins said she believed Kavanaugh was well qualified and she can not abandon the "presumption of innocence" over the sexual assault allegations against the nominee.

Collins voted to end debate on Kavanaugh's confirmation, paving the way for a final vote. "It just may be that in my view he's not the right man for the court at this time", Murkowski told reporters.

Judge Kavanaugh denied the claim - and allegations that he drank to the point of memory loss at the time - in a feisty confrontation with senators.

Republicans have said that a week-long investigation, summed up in the FBI dossier, had turned up nothing to corroborate the sexual assault allegations against the 53-year-old Kavanaugh, who now sits on a federal court in Washington. Mr Kavanaugh would actually only need a 50-50 vote, as that would force a tie-breaker in his favour from Vice-President Mike Pence.

President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh on July 9, 2018, to replace Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy who announced his retirement earlier this year. "Democratic" Senator Joe Manchin voted in kind with Collins, but only after the Republican Senator had demonstrated a level of courage he refused to meet.


Republican Senator Susan Collins and Joe Manchin, a Democrat, both indicated their backing for the judge on Friday, BBC reported.

The Washington Post's editorial board published an opinion column urging lawmakers to vote "no" on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court.

The column said that Kavanaugh "poisoned any sense that he could serve as an impartial judge", following his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27.

White House officials were cautiously optimistic going into the final push. If Kavanaugh is confirmed, Trump will have succeeded in having his two picks seated on the court - a major coup for the Republican leader less than halfway through his term. As I've said previously, my job is to assess the facts before us and the fact remains that no evidence exists to support the allegations made against Judge Kavanaugh.

In a statement on his decision to vote for Kavanaugh, Manchin expressed "reservations" against supporting him given the serious nature of the allegations against him, but said that based on the "information" available, he feels the Supreme Court nominee is a "qualified jurist".

The lone Republican to oppose the nomination was Sen.

Murkowski in contrast, defied her party and voted against advancing the nomination.

Under pressure from wavering Republicans, GOP leaders agreed to an extraordinary Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week that mesmerized the nation as Ford nervously recounted her story and said she was "100 percent" certain that Kavanaugh was her attacker. Kavanaugh's nomination as a replacement for retiring justice Anthony Kennedy was controversial from the start - but the initial focus was exclusively on the conservative views held by the married father of two.

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