Senate votes Friday in first step to possible Kavanaugh confirmation

Sen. Susan Collins R-Maine arrives to view the FBI report on sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill Thursday Oct. 4 2018 in Washington

Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Friday that she remains a "no" on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh but will vote "present" for Saturday's final vote, which won't affect Kavanaugh's confirmation but will allow Sen.

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, one of the Democrats who voted against the motion and has vocally opposed Kavanaugh's nomination since accusations of sexual assault arose in July, lamented the vote's passing on CNN.

With the political world holding its breath, Collins spoke of a lack of "corroborating evidence" to back up Ford's claims that Kavanaugh was the man who assaulted her more than three decades ago.

The Senate's showdown roll call confirmation vote is expected Saturday afternoon.

But Collins, a moderate, pro-choice lawmaker from ME, said Kavanaugh was entitled to the "presumption of innocence" as the allegations against him lacked corroborating evidence.

Kavanaugh and one of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, delivered emotional testimony last week on allegations he sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers. As we noted by the White House, the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not interview Brett Kavanaugh, nor did the Federal Bureau of Investigation interview Dr. Blasey Ford.

Murkowski said that she internally fought with the consideration that Kavanaugh's manner before the Senate Judiciary Committee would be "too unfair a burden to place on somebody that is dealing with the worst. most horrific allegations". And my heart goes out to anyone who has experienced any type of sexual assault in their life. Key undecided senators spent hours Thursday in a secure briefing room pouring over the FBI's report on allegations of sexual misconduct.

Protesters against judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court are keeping up the public pressure a day after arrests that included comedian Amy Schumer and model Emily Ratajkowski. He's widely known as a fair, smart, and independent judge, and he has the qualifications and experience necessary to ably serve on the Supreme Court.

The column published on Thursday is the first time in more than 30 years that the newspaper's editorial board urged senators to reject a nominee to the high court.

Over the past few weeks, she had been a target of liberal groups who had raised money they say they'll give to her opponent in her next re-election in 2020.

Some Democratic lawmakers, who are poised to gain a number of congressional seats heading into the midterms, have floated the possibility of investigating Kavanaugh after he is confirmed to the Supreme Court.

Republicans hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, meaning that if all Senate Democrats oppose Mr Kavanaugh, Mr Trump can not afford to lose more than one Republican vote for his nominee, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tiebreaking vote.

"I believe that Brett Kavanaugh is a good man".

In fact, during her 21 years in the Senate, Collins has voted for judicial nominees put forward by Republican presidents almost 99 percent of the time, according to a Globe analysis of her roll call votes. Mr Kavanaugh would actually only need a 50-50 vote, as that would force a tie-breaker in his favour from Vice-President Mike Pence.

Collins voted to end debate on Kavanaugh's confirmation, paving the way for a final vote.

The vote occurred against a backdrop of smoldering resentment by partisans on both sides.