Senate advances Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination

The GOP-led Senate paved the way for a final vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court Friday morning, voting 51-49 to end debate on the controversial nomination.

The crucial procedural vote – known as cloture – hinged on GOP Sens. Susan Collins from Maine, Jeff Flake from Arizona and Lisa Murkowski from Alaska — as well as Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, a state won by President Trump.

Collins and Flake voted yes, while Murkowski voted no.

Manchin voted yes — after spending the past week on the fence.

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

The cloture vote is a good indication of which way the final vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation will tip. That could come as early as Saturday.

Collins said she would announce her final decision on Kavanaugh at 3 p.m.

Friday’s vote comes after a tumultuous few weeks in which Kavanaugh, a 53-year-old appeals judge in the DC circuit, has been accused of sexual misconduct, including sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford in the 1980s.

He denied the allegations in emotional testimony last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“My hearing testimony was forceful and passionate… I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said,” the judge admitted in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal Thursday.

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