Brett Kavanaugh a step closer to Supreme Court post

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On Friday, announcements of support by Republican Susan Collins of ME and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia made Saturday's confirmation vote an anticlimactic formality.

Now that Senate passed its cloture motion, the final vote on confirmation will sometime on Saturday.

Even as Kavanaugh took his oath of office Saturday evening in a quiet private ceremony, not long after the narrowest Senate confirmation in almost a century and a half, protesters chanted outside the court building across the street from the Capitol.

"Facts matter. Fairness matters", said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) "The presumption of innocence is sacrosanct".

She alleges Kavanaugh exposed his penis to her during a drunken party at a Yale University dorm in the early 1980s and she was forced to touch it. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called the 53-year-old Kavanaugh a victim of "an ugly left-wing smear campaign" and charged Democrats with character assassination.

Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 margin, and Saturday's vote seems destined to be almost party-line. Sen.

The vice president can vote in the event of a Senate tie. But she said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had found no corroborating evidence from witnesses whose names Ford had provided.

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Outside, protesters shouted "shame on you" as Manchin spoke to reporters about his decision.

Collins told fellow senators that Christine Blasey Ford's dramatic testimony last week describing Kavanaugh's alleged 1982 assault was "sincere, painful and compelling".

Democrats and demonstrators vented rage and resistance but the Senate rolled toward approving Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination Saturday as President Donald Trump and Republicans approached an election-season triumph in the most electrifying confirmation battle in years.

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. "I do hope that it reminds us that we can take very small steps to be gracious with one another and maybe those small gracious steps can lead to more", she said.

"I believe that Brett Kavanaugh is a good man, I believe he is a good man". Numerous lawmakers, including undecided Republican senators like Susan Collins and Jeff Flake, said they were appalled by Trump's behavior, but wound up voting for Kavanaugh anyway. Chris Coons - that the investigation delay the confirmation process by no more than seven days, and that it be limited to examining the "current" and "credible" allegations against the judge (that is, the allegations made by Dr. Ford and by Deborah Ramirez) - may have worked for last Friday's exercise, it didn't take Democrats 48 hours to abandon that agreement and demand more: more time, and more witnesses to be interviewed.

Senators sat at their desks during Saturday's roll call, rising when it was their turn to vote. The lone holdout Senator, Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, has indicated that she might vote no.

Republicans control the Senate by a meagre 51-49.

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In the Capitol, however, both senators won praise from their colleagues.

Dr Ford's testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee was broadcast live on television and captured the attention of some 20 million people across the States watching on broadcast and cable networks. To this day, many Americans believe it was Palin that said "I can see Russian Federation from my house" when in fact the line was delivered by Tina Fey.

Mr Kavanaugh would replace the retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was a swing vote on issues including abortion, campaign finance and same-sex marriage.

McConnell said that defeating Kavanaugh would mean that "media bullying and mob intimidation are valid tactics for shaping the Senate".

"I have extended this as a courtesy to my friend", she added.

During the controversial speech, Trump mocked Ford and mimicked her, claiming her allegations against Kavanaugh lacked sufficient detail.

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