Kavanaugh steps away from being confirmed as US Supreme Court judge

Senate TV via AP

Senate TV via AP

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is estimated to have 51 senators who will vote to confirm Kavanaugh. People shouted "shame, shame" as Manchin spoke to reporters about his decision.

Collins said Friday that she was confident that Kavanaugh will not overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the U.S. She also said that she believes Ford, but thinks somebody else besides Kavanaugh must have been the perpetrator.

In the procedural ballot, senators voted 51-49 to limit debate, defeating Democratic efforts to scuttle the nomination with endless delays. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted present because of the absence of a colleague, Steve Danies of Montana, who was at his daughter's wedding, but said she would have voted no. Kavanaugh called the allegations "a calculated and orchestrated political hit" at the hearing.

"I believe Brett Kavanaugh's a good man". And my heart goes out to anyone who has experienced any type of sexual assault in their life. I don't know by whom.

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"I do hope that Judge Kavanaugh will not allow the partisan nature this process took to follow him onto the court", he said.

While acknowledging that Blasey Ford's testimony was "sincere, painful and compelling", Collins added: "We will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness".

With the vote of the Vice President Mike pence always there in case of a tie, the confirmation of Kavanaugh as the next Judge of the Supreme Court became a foregone conclusion by Friday night.

This comes as Deborah Ramirez said on Saturday the senate is "looking the other way" when it comes to her accusation that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when they were students at Yale. They urged Senators not to confirm the nomination of Kavanaugh given sexual assault allegations against him. Yesterday both senators Flake and Collins said that the recent Federal Bureau of Investigation background report into Kavanaugh was "thorough" and did not corroborate Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's accusations against the nominee. Manchin is up for re-election this November in West Virginia. And there is some sense that Manchin, despite the fact that Trump won his state by 43 points and he is up for reelection in 32 days, wouldn't be willing to be the 50th (and deciding) vote on Kavanaugh. He has a decent sized lead in the polls against the Republican, Patrick Morrisey.

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Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were teenagers, was not interviewed as part of the investigation, one of her attorneys, Debra Katz, told ABC News, calling the move a "grave injustice".

Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 margin, and Saturday's roll call seems destined to be almost party-line, with just a single defector from each side. According to The Hill, the math is tight.

Kavanaugh's confirmation is not yet a done deal.

On Friday the Senate voted along party lines to remove the last obstacle to holding a decisive vote this weekend.

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