A notorious Obama admin figure might challenge Susan Collins over Kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh: Key US Senators Back Embattled Supreme Court Choice

Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, a fellow moderate and friend of Collins, became the only Republican to say she opposed Kavanaugh.

Even before the lurid sexual assault charges surfaced, Democrats in the Republican-controlled Senate were fighting hard to stop Kavanaugh, saying his conservative judicial philosophy could result in rolling back abortion rights, gay rights and protections for immigrants.

The final Senate vote is expected Saturday, but enough senators have committed to backing him after a tumultuous political battle inflamed by allegations by California professor Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers in the early 1980s.

But the Senate ultimately voted to move Kavanaugh's nomination forward on Friday morning, and Collins several hours later announced she'd support his confirmation during the final vote on Saturday.

Collins and Murkowski are the only GOP senators who support abortion rights, a crucial issue in the Kavanaugh debate.

Kavanaugh, who has denied the allegations, appeared to be on the fast-track towards being nominated prior to the accusation becoming public in September.

While Collins acknowledged that Blasey Ford's testimony was honest, painful and compelling, and that the accuser is a sexual assault survivor, she added that "I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court". If the vote fails, it would deal a major blow to the nomination and throw the possibility of confirmation into serious doubt.

Kavanaugh's confirmation would ensure a conservative majority on the court for years and perhaps decades to come - and hand Trump a huge political victory.

Kavanaugh's nomination has been imperiled by accusations of sexual misconduct.

Britain is preparing new proposal on Irish border: UK PM May
This was despite the Tory leader's team meticulously putting together a media plan to keep off the front pages. Hard-left Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, she said, would "outsource our conscience to the Kremlin".

Many Kavanaugh supporters, like Laura Murphy, pointed to the investigation as reason to proceed with the confirmation.

But after the Federal Bureau of Investigation released its report late Wednesday, after less than a week of investigating, Flake said it had found "no additional corroborating information" against Kavanaugh.

The roll call seemed destined to be almost party-line, with just a single defector from each side capping a contest fought against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement and President Donald Trump's unyielding support of his nominee.

But he says in a statement he is casting his vote on "what is best for West Virginia".

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., looks on before the arrival ofTreasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin during a Senate Appropriations Committee for Financial Services hearing on the proposed FY2019 budget in Washington, D.C., on May 22, 2018.

"Very proud of the U.S. Senate for voting "YES" to advance the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh!". The tweet referenced an infamous "Saturday Night Live" skit in which Tina Fey, portraying Palin, said she could see Russian Federation from her house.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME joined with almost all of her GOP colleagues and Democratic Sen.

Immediately after that speech, Mr Manchin announced his support, calling Mr Kavanaugh a "qualified jurist" who "will not allow the partisan nature this process took to follow him onto the court".

The lone Republican to oppose the nomination was Sen. He said she told him about it again three months ago in an email. Kavanaugh's nomination as a replacement for retiring justice Anthony Kennedy was controversial from the start - but the initial focus was exclusively on the conservative views held by the married father of two.

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'I know you're not thinking. You never do.'
Similarly to Vega, Collins was reproached with the president wagging his finger at her saying her actions were "not nice". But the president also tried to strike a lighter note, joking about his own bad reputation in the press.

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