The final vote on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court is expected to be called just before 5 p.m. Saturday, bringing to a close the bitterest and most raucous Senate confirmation fight in nearly three decades.
The result is expected to ratify President Trump’s second Supreme Court pick in as many years, cementing one of his central campaign promises by shifting the court’s balance sharply to the right.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will call for the vote 30 hours after a slim 51-49 majority voted to end debate in a move known as cloture.
Despite intense pressure from anti-Kavanaugh protesters, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced Friday that she would join almost all Senate Republicans to support him, after the FBI reported that it could not corroborate eleventh-hour accusations of sexual misconduct that were leaked to the media two weeks ago.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), facing a tough re-election battle in his deep-red state, is the lone Democrat to break from his party and announce plans to vote in Kavanaugh’s favor.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the GOP’s only breakaway senator, said Friday she will vote “present” to allow the nomination to squeak through.
A cascade of allegations against Kavanaugh led to a dramatic day of testimony on Sept. 27, when Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology researcher from California, recounted a roughly 36-year-old memory that Kavanaugh had assaulted her when both were high schoolers in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.
An emotional Kavanaugh forcefully denied Ford’s accusation. After reopening its standard pre-confirmation investigation into his background, the FBI reportedly found no corroborating evidence to confirm her account, or those of two other women who went to the media with stories of sexual offenses during his high school and college days.