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19:31, 05 October 2018

Brett Kavanaugh: Key test vote on Supreme Court nominee passes

Brett Kavanaugh: Key test vote on Supreme Court nominee passes

The US Senate has narrowly sophisticated President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to a final vote.

Friday’s vote – 51-49 in favour – was a test of help for the embattled nominee who has faced sexual assault allegations from a number of ladies.

All eyes are on many swing senators for Saturday’s final vote.

Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation would tilt America’s highest court in favour of conservatives.

The nine-member panel has the final say on issues such as abortion, gun manage and voting rules and justices are appointed for life.

Following Friday’s vote, Mr Trump tweeted that he was “extremely proud”.

Hundreds of protesters against Judge Kavanaugh were arrested in Washington DC, on Thursday, including comedian Amy Schumer.

After Friday’s vote, dozens also have been arrested outdoors Republican Senator Jeff Flake’s office. Mr Flake told reporters that unless “anything big” changes, he will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.

Brett Kavanaugh: Key test vote on Supreme Court nominee passes

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What was Friday’s vote for?

Friday’s “cloture” vote activated a 30-hour period of discussions in the Senate, which will be followed by the final basic majority vote on Saturday.

Republicans have a 51-49 majority in the Senate. But two essential swing senators voted against their party colleagues: Republican Lisa Murkowski and Democrat Joe Manchin.

Mr Manchin, of West Virginia, represents a traditionally Republican state that Mr Trump won by a landslide. The self-described “most centrist Democrat” is also up for re-election this year.

Ms Murkowski of Alaska, a state that also voted pro-Trump in 2016, has been undecided on Judge Kavanaugh all through the hearings.

She has been lobbied by sexual assault survivors to vote against the judge and represents a state with the highest sex crime price by far in America, according to FBI data.

Regardless of deciding against the nominee on Friday, she told reporters afterwards she has still not created up her thoughts on the confirmation vote, according to Reuters news agency.

One more essential Republican senator, Susan Collins, a moderate from Maine, voted in favour of Judge Kavanaugh on Friday.

She stated would announce later in the day whether she would assistance him in the final ballot.

Brett Kavanaugh: Key test vote on Supreme Court nominee passes

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Given that Republicans have a razor-thin margin of handle in the Senate, the party can potentially only afford yet another defection if it wants to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court – assuming the two swing senators vote the exact same on Saturday.

Complicating matters, the workplace of Republican Steve Daines mentioned on Thursday he was organizing to attend his daughter’s wedding in Montana on Saturday. On Friday morning, he was reported to be arranging travel back to Washington DC for the final vote.

The judge has maintained he would be a neutral justice in a Wall Street Journal editorial titled, “I am an independent, impartial judge”.

Addressing his angry testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, exactly where he branded the allegations against him an “orchestrated political hit”, he wrote: “I know that my tone was sharp, and I mentioned a handful of things I need to not have mentioned.”

Going down to the wire

Evaluation by Anthony Zurcher, BBC News

The margin of error for confirming Brett Kavanaugh has evaporated. With Lisa Murkowski voting No on a key procedural motion, it seems extremely likely she will be a No on the final vote, as properly.

Republicans had a single vote amongst their ranks to spare. Now, unless someone like West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin crosses celebration lines, they have to hold ranks.

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, whose change of heart prompted the existing week-extended delay in a final vote, has signalled he’s a probable Yes. Republicans may possibly be inclined to maintain him comfortably sequestered in a quiet room in the Capitol till tomorrow.

That leaves Susan Collins of Maine as the probable deciding vote. She’ll announce her intentions later on Friday. If she says she’s a Yes, Mr Kavanaugh can commence buying for Supreme Court robes. If she’s a No, Saturday will get extremely intriguing.

What was the FBI inquiry about?

Judge Kavanaugh has faced sexual assault allegations from several females, most prominently Professor Christine Blasey Ford.

Brett Kavanaugh: Key test vote on Supreme Court nominee passes

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Both gave public testimony final week in which Prof Ford mentioned she had been assaulted by Judge Kavanaugh when they were both teenagers in 1982.

Judge Kavanaugh denied the claim – and allegations that he drank to the point of memory loss at the time – in a feisty confrontation with senators.

Soon after the testimony, President Trump agreed to a new FBI inquiry.

  • Why sexual assault survivors neglect particulars
  • Ford’s testimony via the eyes of a survivor

Federal agents are believed to have spoken to five witnesses regarding Prof Ford’s accusations and yet another four other witnesses involving a separate accusation by Deborah Ramirez, who said the nominee had exposed himself to her when they had been each at Yale University. He denies Ms Ramirez’s allegations, as well.

Brett Kavanaugh: Key test vote on Supreme Court nominee passes

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Mr Trump and his fellow Republicans stated the new FBI report had cleared their nominee.

But Democratic senators mentioned it had been incomplete.

The lawyers of each females have also complained that numerous witnesses they had offered to the FBI to corroborate their claims had not been contacted at all.

Published at Fri, 05 Oct 2018 17:58:49 +0000

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