Senate panel heads to vote on Trump's top court pick Kavanaugh

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The president of the American Bar Association, Robert Carlson, and Heather Gerken, dean of Yale Law School, from which Kavanaugh graduated, added their voices Friday to those seeking an FBI investigation of the sexual assault allegations.

The decision marks a reversal for the administration, which had argued that Kavanaugh had already been vetted.

Mr Kavanaugh's nomination to a lifetime seat on the US Supreme Court hangs in the balance after a jarring and raucous hearing into sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Trump's fellow Republicans appeared to have the votes to approve Kavanaugh in the sharply divided Judiciary Committee after Flake, a moderate Republican, announced his position.

Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, could be the deciding vote on several contentious cases if he is confirmed, with disputes involving abortion, immigration, gay rights, voting rights and transgender troops possibly heading to the court soon.

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Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote - after Arizona GOP Sen.

"You have replaced "advice and consent" with "search and destroy, '" he said, referring to the Constitution's charge to senators" duties in confirming high officials.

Kavanaugh says, "I've done everything they have requested and will continue to cooperate". Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - and two Democrats in red states - Sens.

What Senate Democrats really want is more time to smear Judge Kavanaugh, regardless of the toll it takes on his wife, his daughters, and our country. Activists staged a rally to call to drop the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court. Bill Nelson of Florida, Joe Donnelly of IN and Jon Tester of Montana all said they would vote no.

For one, because the ABA was one of Brett Kavanaugh's strongest selling points to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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But several moderate Democratic senators facing tough re-election contests this fall in states President Donald Trump won announced their opposition: Jon Tester of Montana, Joe Donnelly of in and Bill Nelson of Florida.

The one woman who will have been in Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's shoes as she testifies on Thursday said that the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, as it is now organized, "cannot be fair and thorough". At the same time, he said that he would do whatever the Senate Judiciary Committee wanted. The full Senate must confirm Supreme Court appointments. Republicans praised Ford's bravery in coming forward, but many of them said her account won't affect their support for Kavanaugh.

As CBS News' Nancy Cordes reports, this is significant because, assuming all Democrats vote no, Republicans cannot afford to lose more than one of their own senators on the floor. If investigators uncover evidence that Kavanaugh lied to lawmakers during hearings or on his background-check forms, that could spark a criminal investigation in which law enforcement could use the full extent of its legal powers.

The FBI conducts background checks for federal nominees, but the agency does not make judgments on the credibility or significance of allegations.

Get Out writer and director Jordan Peele threw his support behind Dr. Ford, who on Friday gave vivid testimony about her alleged attack before the predominantly male committee. Two other women besides Ford have also lodged public sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh.

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As senators delivered speeches in the committee - Democrats detailing their opposition to Kavanaugh and Republicans saying they support him - Flake created a stir when he tapped Sen.