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Brett Kavanaugh: Key US senators back embattled Supreme Court choice

Brett Kavanaugh: Key US senators back embattled Supreme Court choice

However, the Manchin, Collins and Flake coalition would be enough to confirm Kavanaugh if they actually follow through on how they are saying they are going to vote.

Mr Kavanaugh - President Donald Trump's pick for the prestigious role - has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the past week after he was accused of sexually assaulting a number of women.

A final vote on whether Judge Kavanaugh will join the nine-member panel is scheduled for Saturday.

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 per cent" certain that Kavanaugh was her attacker.

Collins noted that under common law, there is a presumption of innocence, which is the principle that one is considered innocent unless proven guilty. "We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy".

The Kavanaugh fight has riveted Americans weeks before November 6 elections in which Democrats are trying to take control of Congress from the Republicans. Around 100 of them were detained by the police.

More than 300 protestors - including the comedian Amy Schumer and model Emily Ratajkowski - were arrested as they made desperate final appeals to senators as they arrived at the US Capitol in Washington.

Republican Susan Collins and Democrat Joe Manchin, both regarded as swing votes, said they would support Kavanaugh.

Additionally, Ford's lawyer responded to President Donald Trump's comments at a campaign rally earlier this week where he had appeared to mock her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"My heart goes out to anyone who has experienced any type of sexual assault in their life", Manchin said.

But he said he believes Kavanaugh will "determine cases based on the legal findings before him".

So what would it mean if Kavanaugh is confirmed Saturday? A few Democrats sat stone-faced nearby. But Murkowski said she would step up for her fellow Republican, even though she remains opposed to Kavanaugh's ascension, as her vote will not apparently affect the outcome, barring a surprise. She said on the Senate floor Friday evening that Kavanaugh is "a good man" but his "appearance of impropriety has become unavoidable". Kavanaugh vehemently denied all those claims. "And that is hard".

Also on Friday, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski announced she plans to vote no on Kavanaugh. Steve Daines, who supports the nominee but will be at his daughter's wedding in Montana.

But that's just what she and a friend did, writing notes and shoving them under the office door, though they did not think the senator would read them.

In the procedural ballot, senators voted 51-49 to limit debate, defeating Democratic efforts to scuttle the nomination with endless delays.

It may be bad news for those who wish to see Kavanaugh confirmed despite numerous allegations of sexual assault in his past, however for Palin it could be to her advantage in the popularity vote.

Vice-President Mike Pence, who could have broken a 50-50 tie, watched the vote from the White House.

Republicans hold only a 51-49 Senate majority and therefore had little support to spare.


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