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Kavanaugh's Confirmation Isn't a Win, Even for Republicans
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Final Kavanaugh vote nears with confirmation nearly certain
10 October 2018, 12:56 | Tara Lloyd
Hundreds march through Boston to protest Kavanaugh confirmation
She explained her courtesy "present" vote for Daines, saying that she hopes "it reminds us that we can take very small, very small steps to be gracious with one another, and maybe those small gracious steps can lead to more".
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh secures the votes needed, including a "yes" vote from key swing Republican senators Susan Collins and Jeff Flake, as well as Democrat Joe Manchin, to be confirmed in a final vote on Saturday.
Manchin was the only Democrat to vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation.
But his ascent to the Supreme Court was in serious doubt last week after research psychologist Christine Blasey Ford testified that he had sexually assaulted her at a Washington area party in the early 1980s.
Murkowski has expressed unease with the sexual assault allegations lodged against Kavanaugh, which he denies.
The path to Kavanaugh's confirmation cleared on Friday when two wavering Republicans, Susan Collins of ME and Jeff Flake of Arizona, said they would vote for Kavanaugh after concluding that Ford's allegations, voiced by her in an emotional hearing last week, could not be corroborated.
Should Judge Brett Kavanaugh become America's newest Supreme Court Justice? As moderates who support abortion rights, their joint opposition could have been enough to sink Kavanaugh, whose nomination was thrust into uncertainty following sexual assault allegations.
The ferocious nature of the confirmation battle could also have an impact on the Court itself, as Kavanaugh's vehement and politicized defense of his own behavior raised questions about his temperament and whether he could genuinely be a honest broker and implementer of the law in the most sensitive cases.
"Laura and I have known and respected Brett Kavanaugh for decades, and we stand by our comments the night Judge Kavanaugh was nominated", he said in September in a statement provided to CNN by his spokesperson, Freddy Ford.
Senators are expected to complete debate sometime Saturday and then proceed to the final vote.
While the images posted online appear to be from anti-Kavanaugh protesters, Trump took to Twitter to state that "women for Kavanaugh" are turning out to support "this very good man".
Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, a fellow moderate and friend of Collins, became the only Republican to say she opposed Kavanaugh.
"I go back and look to that, it is pretty high that a judge shall act at all times, not just sometimes when you're wearing your robe, but all times in a manner that promotes public confidence", Murkowski said.
"If you fail to stand up for the people of ME and for Americans across the country, every dollar donated to this campaign will go to your eventual Democratic opponent in 2020", the campaign website reads. Kavanaugh's nomination as a replacement for retiring justice Anthony Kennedy was controversial from the start - but the initial focus was exclusively on the conservative views held by the married father of two. By the end of the day, there was a slim, 51-49 vote tally in favor of Kavanaugh's confirmation.
"I think for Central Pennsylvania, for the majority of the viewers in your tv area, I don't think it's going to change a whole lot".
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the nomination "one of the saddest moments in the history of the Senate", and said, "this chapter will be a flashing red warning light of what to avoid". "It's a wake-up call to why it's important to hold the Senate".
"My heart goes out to anyone who has experienced any type of sexual assault in their life", Manchin said.
"Therefore I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court". But when asked about the topic, Trump said she wished to discuss her trip and not her fashion choices. "We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy".
Besides interviewing and talking to people who know Kavanaugh, Collins said she assembled a team of 19 attorneys to assist her in examining his judicial record.
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Kavanaugh and Ford appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, where they answered questions about the allegations. Mr Kavanaugh struck an angry and defiant tone during the hearing, denying allegations made by three women against him.
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Opposition to Kavanaugh grew 4 percentage points after the hearing, apparently driven by people who previously were undecided. Trump initially was deferential to Ford, describing her late last week as a "very fine woman" and a "credible witness".