Kavanaugh's Confirmation Almost a Certainty as Key Senators Announce Their Support

After a bitter partisan fight and accusations of sexual misconduct, Trump's nominee heads toward the final Senate vote for the Supreme Court post

Reuters
Reuters
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh arrives to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 27, 2018.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh arrives to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 27, 2018. Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP
Reuters
Reuters

Republican Senator Susan Collins announced her support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh Friday afternoon, strongly boosting chances that the judge will be confirmed.

Collins’ announcement comes after the U.S. Senate approved him in a preliminary vote, despite accusations of sexual misconduct against the judge.

Two key senators, Collins and Democrat Joe Manchin, both seen as swing votes, said they would support Kavanaugh, after weeks of debate about sexual violence and the nominee’s character and temperament that gripped the nation.

Collins, in remarks on the Senate floor explaining her decision to back Kavanaugh, said Ford’s accusations against him “fail to meet the more-likely-than-not standard.”

As protesters in a Capitol Hill hallway shouted, “Shame! Shame! Shame!”, Manchin told reporters an FBI investigation, which did not find corroborating evidence of Ford’s accusations, was thorough.

“I believe Dr. Ford. Something happened to Dr. Ford. I don’t believe the facts show that it was Brett Kavanaugh, but I believe something happened,” Manchin said.

The only Republican to vote against Kavanaugh, Senator Lisa Murkowski, said in a speech on the Senate floor on Friday night that her decision was "agonizing" but after watching Kavanaugh's Senate testimony she "could not conclude that he is the right person for the court at this time."

After a bitter partisan fight that gripped the country, lawmakers backed Kavanaugh by 51 to 49 in a procedural vote that moved the Republican-controlled Senate toward a definitive decision on whether to confirm him.

The full confirmation vote could take place as early as Saturday.

>> Trump, Kavanaugh and the rape culture of the American jockDespite Flake, the Kavanaugh-Ford hearings showcase the death of truth and decline of democracy in Trump’s America

Given the result of Friday's vote, federal appeals court judge Kavanaugh looked on track to get the lifetime job on the Supreme Court. But a change of heart by some lawmakers in the final vote would mean his confirmation could still be derailed.

Confirmation would hand Trump a clear victory and tip the balance on the court to a 5-4 majority in favor of conservatives in possible legal battles ahead over contentious issues such as abortion rights, immigration, and Trump's attempt to ban transgender people from the U.S. military.

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

>>Inflamed by Trump and resisted by women, the Kavanaugh confirmation is a major battle in America’s eternal culture wars

What was already a sharply partisan battle became an intense political drama when university professor Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were in high school in Maryland in 1982. Two other women also made accusations of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh in the 1980s.

He denied the allegations.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

נתניהו עם כיפה שחורה על הראש נשען בשתי ידיו על הכותל

Israel Is Heading for Its Most 'Jewish' Election Ever

An El Al jet sits on the tarmac at John C. Munro International Airport in Hamilton, Thursday, in 2003.

El Al to Stop Flying to Toronto, Warsaw and Brussels

FILE PHOTO: A Star of David hangs from a fence outside the dormant landmark Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood in 2021.

American Judaism Is in Decline. That's Great News for American Jews

Crowds at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, in April.

U.S. Official: West Bank Entry for Palestinian Americans Unrelated to Israeli Visa Waivers

Haaretz spoke with several people who said they had fled Ukraine, arrived in Israel,  and were asked to undergo DNA tests in order to establish paternity.

'My Jewish Grandmother Has a Number on Her Arm, Why Does Israel Greet Me This Way?'

People taking part in the annual "March of the Living" to commemorate the Holocaust, between the former death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland, four years ago.

It’s Not Just the Holocaust. Israel Is Failing to Teach the History of the Jews