Will Kavanaugh vote match closest in history?

Sen. Flake This is ripping our country apart

Collins announces support for Kavanaugh, making chances of confirmation nearly certain

The final Senate vote on the Supreme Court nominee is likely to be held Saturday.

"I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh", declared Sen.

By a vote of 50-48, the Senate gave a lifetime job to Kavanaugh, 53, after weeks of fierce debate over sexual violence, privilege and alcohol abuse that convulsed the nation just weeks before congressional elections on November 6.

About 100 anti-Kavanaugh protesters climbed the Capitol's East Steps as the vote approached, pumping fists and waving signs, and U.S. Capitol Police officers began arresting some of them. Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced during a lengthy speech on Friday that she would be voting for Trump's pick, who has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women.

She praised his judicial record and argued there was no corroboration of sexual assault charges made against him by psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford. "I have been wrestling to-to really try to know what is fair and what is right and the truth is none of this has been fair", Murkowski said Friday, adding, "I believe we are dealing with issues that are bigger than a nominee".

Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa previously told reporters he hadn't restricted what the Federal Bureau of Investigation could investigate or who they could interview beyond looking at current, credible allegations.

"I never thought Judge Kavanaugh would withdraw", the Kentucky senior senator said.

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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.

In a twist, Murkowski stated her opposition but voted "present" as a courtesy to Kavanaugh supporter Sen. In addition, Republican Senator Jeff Flake has also indicated he is a yes vote. Eleven Democrats voted for Thomas, while two Republicans opposed his confirmation. "I do hope that Judge Kavanaugh will not allow the partisan nature this process took to follow him on the court". Steve Daines (D-Mont.) was absent for his daughter's wedding.

Capping a venomous struggle that transfixed Americans when it veered into claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted women in the 1980s - claims he fiercely denied - the 53-year-old conservative's nomination was on track for afternoon approval.

Kavanaugh is expected to be sworn in quickly and will join four liberal justices and four other conservatives as the court, which is expected soon to hear controversial disputes involving abortion, immigration, gay rights and voting rights.

None of them could answer the question at the heart of their decision to support Kavanaugh: whether they believe Ford is lying, or whether they believe she is telling the truth but that her allegations don't matter for judging the character of a nominee to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court.

"Just cast my vote for Judge Kavanaugh getting him one step closer onto #SCOTUS".

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