Backed by senators, Kavanaugh on track for U.S

Protesters gather in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill Thursday Oct. 4 2018 in Washington

The Senate voted 51-49 to approve Kavanaugh in the procedural cloture vote, with one Republican, Lisa Murkowski, opposing going forward while one Democrat, Joe Manchin, voted to move ahead.

A final vote on Mr Kavanaugh's nomination could occur over the weekend. "One can only hope that the Kavanaugh nomination is where the process has finally hit rock bottom." she said.

Daines first announced his support for Kavanaugh last week, after a tense Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in which Christine Blasey Ford publicly alleged Kavanaugh had assaulted her when they were in high school in the 1980s.

"The allegations fail to meet the "more likely than not" standard", Collins said as she announced her vote.

As Manchin addressed the media after making his announcement, protesters shouted over him in anger: "Look at us. Shame! Shame!" Manchin told reporters an FBI investigation, which did not find corroborating evidence of Ford's accusations, was thorough.

"I believe that Brett Kavanaugh is a good man". "I found Christine Ford's testimony to be very heart-wrenching, painful and compelling".

News of Collins's key vote was a strong blow to opponents of the controversial Kavanaugh, including sexual assault victims and their allies who view his impending nomination as a referendum on the #MeToo movement and its limits.

The latest season of "What Will Susan Collins Do" ended Friday afternoon after 88 days of the Mainer expressing public indecision over whether she would vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court.

The US Senate on Friday narrowly approved moving to a final vote on President Donald Trump's embattled Supreme Court amid continuing controversy over sexual abuse allegations against him.

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Ford explained in detail what to expect, how polygraphs worked and helped McLean become familiar and less nervous about the exam. He and Collins could be key votes in confirming Kavanaugh in the Senate, which Republicans control by a slim 51-49 margin.

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Flake is retiring from the Senate after he completes his term this winter, though many have speculated he could mount a 2020 bid against Trump as a middle-of-the-road, return-to-normalcy GOP candidate.

Republicans appear to be cruising to a 51-49 victory for Kavanaugh's confirmation vote, which could come as early as Saturday.

Close votes that ultimately confirm a Supreme Court nominee are rare.

If confirmed, Kavanaugh would tip the balance on the court to a 5-4 majority in favour of conservatives in possible legal battles ahead over contentious issues such as abortion rights, immigration, and Trump's attempt to ban transgender people from the USA military.

Collins voted to end debate on Kavanaugh's confirmation, paving the way for a final vote. White House officials have said Kavanaugh would be sworn in swiftly. Do you know that we have got four people that are on the committee because the leader asked them to be there? But Collins's support is expected to give Kavanaugh enough votes to clear the Senate if the rest of the Republican caucus holds firm.

During the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on Kavanaugh's nomination, Republican Senator Jeff Flake was confronted by a survivor of sexual assault, who implored Flake not to support the nominee.

Both Ford and Kavanugh testified before the Senate Judiciary Committeee which was the last week.

Mr Trump mocked Dr Ford on Tuesday during a political rally in MS, further angering Democrats and women campaigning for an end to sexual violence.

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