Key red state Democratic senator to vote no on Kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh during the Senate confirmation hearings

Brett Kavanaugh during the Senate confirmation hearings

If Republicans don't have the votes to cut off debate on Friday, it can not move forward to a final vote.

The Senate, where Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority, is expected to first hold a vote to limit debate on the nominee on Friday at 10:30, one hour after the Senate convenes.

A second undeclared Republican, Susan Collins of ME, also expressed satisfaction with the probe, calling it "a very thorough investigation" and paid two visits to the off-limits room where the document was being displayed to lawmakers.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a moderate from Alaska, voted against advancing Kavanaugh in Friday morning's procedural vote, making Republican plans to confirm Kavanaugh more hard.

Flake and Collins both said on Thursday that the report seemed "thorough", promting speculation that they would vote to confirm the judge. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) has said she'll vote no.

The nominee's conduct during the hearing caught the attention of many, who cited his temperament as another reason to vote "no" on his confirmation. Also voting to move the nomination forward was Democratic Sen.

PCollins and Manchin both voted for cloture.

Cory Gardner, a Republican from Colorado, wants to finish reading the report before he makes a decision, his spokesman told the Denver Post. Democrats say the interviews, which they originally requested, are incomplete and inconclusive.

Vice-President Mike Pence, who could have broken a 50-50 tie, watched the vote from the White House. That may require a delay in the final vote.

The White House ordered a supplemental Federal Bureau of Investigation background check after a handful of Republicans threatened to withhold their support from Kavanaugh, and senators began reviewing the confidential report on Thursday.




Underscoring the hardening partisan lines, one of the two undecided Democratic senators said she would oppose Mr Kavanaugh. Several criticized Republicans for limiting the FBI investigation to just nine interviews.

Thousands of anti-Kavanaugh protesters rallied outside the Supreme Court and entered a Senate office building, holding signs such as "Believe Survivors" and "Kava-Nope". Otherwise they could wait until Sunday morning or even Monday.

Protesters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on October 4, 2018.

DIANNE FEINSTEIN: The most notable part of this report is what's not in it.

SHAPIRO: By late morning, Democrats responded. They said he also seemed ready to knock down President Barack Obama's health care law and to rule for Trump if federal authorities probing his 2016 campaign's connections to Russian Federation initiate legal action. The sharply partisan battle became an intense political drama when Ford and two other women emerged to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in the 1980s when he was in high school and college. Kavanaugh has denied the accusations. Kavanaugh also testified before the committee - and vehemently denied the allegation.

A week after a televised Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at which Kavanaugh and Ford transfixed the nation, the Capitol campus remained a stew of tension as the election-season cliff-hanger neared its conclusion.

A fuming Kavanaugh strode into the same packed hearing room that afternoon and said he, too, was "100 per cent" certain the incident had not occurred.

AP reporters Mary Clare Jalonick, Matthew Daly, Padmananda Rama, Kenneth Thomas and Catherine Lucey contributed.

Protests have been gathering traction since the testimony of Professor Christine Blasey Ford last week. Her attorney's Debra Katz and Michael Bromwich watch.

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