Brett Kavanaugh protests: Over 100 arrested on Capitol Hill, police say

In 1881, Stanley Matthews, President James Garfield's pick to replace Justice Noah Swayne, won confirmation by a single vote, 24 to 23 (51.06%).

"This has truly been the most hard evaluation of a decision that I've ever had to make, and I've made some interesting ones in my political career", Murkowski said.

Under rules approved a year ago, 50 votes are needed for a majority in the procedural vote, which will be followed by a debate on the nomination before a final, definitive confirmation vote.

When asked whether Kavavaugh will be confirmed, Coons simply said: "I don't know". But Susan Collins' staff is insisting her vote on the final motion is still undecided.

She described "uproarious laughter" by Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, a friend of Kavanaugh's who has said he doesn't recall such an incident.

It depends on the thinking of a few wavering senators in a chamber where Mr Trump's fellow Republicans hold a razor-thin majority.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) also read a letter from 2,400 law professors Friday, opposing Kavanaugh's confirmation.

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

Three Republican women sat behind her in a clear show of support, not sitting in their usual seats.

"If I need to be in two places at once to walk my daughter down the aisle on her wedding day and to be the final vote to put Judge Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, he's offered me the use of his plane", Mr. Daines said.

Kavanaugh's path to the court seemed unfettered until mid-September, when Christine Blasey Ford accused him of drunkenly sexually assaulting her in a locked bedroom at a 1982 high school gathering. He denies Ms Ramirez's allegations, too.

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The U.S. Supreme Court is seen at near sunset in Washington Thursday Oct. 4 2018. ASSOCIATED PRESS

The final Federal Bureau of Investigation report, which has not been made public, contains "no corroboration of" Ford or Ramirez's allegations, according to an "executive summary" released by the office of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen.

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

"The allegations against Brett Kavanaugh have not been adequately investigated", said Nicole Austin-Hillery, US program director at Human Rights Watch.

Initially, it was unclear whether that meant he would support Trump's nominee to the nation's highest court. She also spoke of the constituents who reached out to tell her of their stories of assault.

The nomination now hangs on the decisions of Collins, Murkowski, Flake and Manchin.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) voted to advance the nomination to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh could provide the decisive vote to roll back abortion rights, outlaw affirmative action programs and slash environmental regulations. Lisa Murkowski voted against moving the nomination forward. "I believe Brett Kavanaugh's a good man".

"This is all going to work out", Daines told reporters Friday morning at the Capitol. "I believe he will make an excellent jurist". Rob Portman of OH came over to Murkowski and took her hand, shaking it. Texas Sen. The vote became closer with the confirmation of Neil M. Gorsuch, President Trump's first nominee.

So now it comes down to Collins and Manchin.

And 10 nominees have received at least 96% of the vote.

In a statement he tweeted, the West Virginia Democrat said he had "reservations about this vote given the serious allegations".

The American Bar Association said Friday it's re-examining its "well qualified" rating of Kavanaugh because of "new information of a material nature regarding temperament" during the hearing.

  • Rogelio Becker