Brett Kavanaugh: Key US senators back embattled Supreme Court choice

Brett Kavanaugh: Key US senators back embattled Supreme Court choice”

Their declarations of brought the number of senators publicly supporting the 53-year-old judge - who has faced accusations of sexual assault - to 51 in the 100-member chamber. Kavanaugh fully denies them.

Another key Republican senator, Susan Collins, a moderate from ME, voted in favour of Judge Kavanaugh on Friday.

But before the Senate could move forward, President Trump ordered a time-bound FBI investigation into Kavanaugh.

"I watched her with tears in my eyes, because she was honest", Murray said. "It matters." She said we "must listen to survivors" of assault. "When passions are most inflamed, fairness is most in jeopardy".

But it could also energize Democrats and women just weeks before the midterm elections, potentially imperiling GOP control of at least the House.

According to a Capitol Hill police officer, authorities are investigating a female protester allegedly assaulting a man outside Collins' office, and two people have been detained and are now being questioned. The deadline for a final vote is Saturday at 2 p.m. PT.

The Senate vote was 50-48.Only one Democrat, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, joined Republicans in backing Kavanaugh. Murray said. "They're going to get away with it, so be quiet".

Protesters chanted "Shame" at Manchin later when he talked to reporters outside his office.

Kavanaugh opponents on social media expressed anger at Collins, whereas Kavanaugh supporters praised her.

Senator Collins backed the embattled pick.

"It is simply impossible, after seeing the results of the FBI's supplemental work - I hesitate to call it an investigation - that anybody could think it was in any way, shape or form, the "comprehensive" work the President promised", Senator Hirono said, in a video of her floor speech posted to Facebook. She said, however, that she sets a high bar for nominees to win confirmation and talked about the importance of selecting judges who will act at all times in a manner that promotes "public confidence" in the judiciary. "And that is hard". Steve Daines, R-Mont., who is attending his daughter's wedding in Montana.

Senator Jeff Flake, Republican, who's repeatedly battled Trump and will retire in January, said he'd vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation "unless something big changes".

Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate and needed every vote to advance Kavanaugh's nomination.

The debate sparked smoldering resentment by partisans on both sides, on and off the Senate floor.

Kavanaugh's expected two-vote victory in itself underscored how unusually divisive his nomination fight has been. He accused Democrats of emboldening protesters: "They have encouraged mob rule".

Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY looked ahead to November, appealing to voters beyond the Senate chamber: "Change must come from where change in America always begins: the ballot box". A couple of Democrats and Republicans could go against their party line.

After his scheduled hearing last month, Judge Kavanaugh was embroiled in a major controversy when a professor from California, Christine Blasey Ford, alleged that she was assaulted by him when they were both teenagers in 1982.

"We will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, tempting though it may be", Collins said in remarks that also addressed the sexual-abuse allegations against Kavanaugh.

"What does it say to young girls in high school and college today?"

Among the criticisms of Kavanaugh in the letter, are his judicial temperament.

If confirmed, he would replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement early this year.

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