Top Republicans eye Kavanaugh confirmation on Saturday

Saturday, 06 Oct, 2018

Several recent polls show that Republican enthusiasm about voting, which had lagged behind Democrats, jumped after a contentious Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week.

"I believe he's a good man". Hundreds of demonstrators were arrested, including actress Amy Schumer.

Susan Collins on Friday was dubbed a "rape apologist" by a women's activist group amid her decision to support the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The final confirmation vote in the full Senate is expected Saturday.

Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 margin.

Those two votes would put the vote count on Kavanaugh's confirmation at 49-49, meaning Republicans would need one more "yes" vote to put Kavanaugh on the Court.

A final vote on Kavanaugh's nomination is set to be held Saturday, but moments after Collins spoke, Sen.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who'd wavered for weeks, voted to move the nomination forward and said he'd vote the same way on confirmation "unless something big changes". Collins and Flake both say the investigation was thorough, but neither would say whether they are now prepared to vote to confirm Kavanaugh. Murkowski sat solemnly during the roll call and whispered "No" when it was her turn to vote. Kavanaugh's partisan comments were not the result of an unscripted outburst.

A lone Democrat, Joe Manchin, voted in favour of advancing the process on Friday morning, but had not yet stated his position on the final vote.

Roche also described Kavanaugh's drinking as "unusual" and said he drank heavily to the point of becoming "angry" and "belligerent".

He added that there should be more female represenation on the Supreme Court as well.

Murkowski did not directly link her decision on Kavanaugh's confirmation to the rate of sexual assault in Alaska, though she has spoken out about the issue previously and has introduced legislation to help victims of sexual assault.

Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., to announce Thursday that she would oppose Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegations. Kavanaugh wrote that his testimony "reflected my overwhelming frustration at being wrongly accused".

"This has truly been the most hard evaluation of a decision that I've ever had to make, and I've made some interesting ones in my political career", Murkowski said.

But his testimony last week swayed at least one person, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who says the nominee should be disqualified. He too has been subjected to in-your-face lobbying by protestors in the Senate hallways, with President Trump calling such activists 'paid professionals'.

The Kavanaugh fight has riveted Americans weeks before November 6 elections in which Democrats are trying to take control of Congress from the Republicans.

Mr Trump mocked Dr Ford on Tuesday during a political rally in MS, further angering Democrats and women campaigning for an end to sexual violence.

The FBI report was not released to the public.

The procedural vote came after senators reviewed supplemental FBI reports on interviews the bureau conducted into women's claims dating to high school and college.

They protested after an Federal Bureau of Investigation report which Republicans say exonerates him of sexual assault claims, with Democrats complaining it is too limited. If so, that could be enough for a Trump victory. And Manchin has said little about how he was leaning prior to supporting cloture. Republican leaders sounded unmoved. It would also be a triumph for the GOP's conservative base and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.