Bucking party, Murkowski charts her own path on Kavanaugh

Saul Bowman
October 7, 2018

The Senate's showdown roll call confirmation vote is expected Saturday afternoon.

However, one Democrat-West Virginia's Joe Manchin-voted "yes", a mild surprise that he insists doesn't guarantee his actual vote on Kavanaugh will be "yes".

Another undecided Republican, Maine Sen. Lisa Murkowski from Alaska who were thougth to hold the nominee's future in their hands.

During his testimony, he accused the sexual misconduct allegations as being Democratic conspiracy to get revenge on him for his role as an associate counsel in the Justice Department investigating President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky, and asked Sen. Mr Flake told reporters that unless "something big" changes, he will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.

Democrats paraded to a almost empty Senate chamber overnight and into Saturday to lambaste the nominee.

Judge was also grilled about other allegations besides Ford's, according to the Judiciary Committee. "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 use of his plane", Daines said.

But Democrats say women angered at the Kavanaugh accusations will turn out in large numbers to vote out Republicans.

Later Friday, he voted against advancing Kavanaugh's nomination.

President Trump praised the Republican-led Senate, tweeting he was "Very proud" it managed to advance Kavanaugh's nomination.

If confirmed, Kavanaugh would replace retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. That procedure lets a senator offset another's absence without affecting the outcome, and would allow Kavanaugh to win by the same two-vote margin he would have received had both lawmakers voted. "The well was poisoned from the outset", Schumer said.

In the procedural ballot, senators voted 51-49 to limit debate, defeating Democratic efforts to scuttle the nomination with endless delays.

Republicans control the Senate by a meager 51-49 margin.

Of the four lawmakers who had not revealed their decisions until Friday, Republican Sens.

"It's time to take a stand on the Kavanaugh nomination", Austin-Hillery said.

But Daines's vote will not be needed Saturday unless one Republican defects and Democrats stay unified against Kavanaugh.

"Going forward, you can count on me to be the same kind of judge and person I have been for my entire 28-year legal career: hard-working, even-keeled, open-minded, independent and dedicated to the Constitution and the public good", Kavanaugh wrote.

Mrs Ford and Mr Kavanaugh testified at a dramatic Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week in which she described the alleged assault, and Mr Kavanaugh denied all of the allegations against him, while accusing the Democrats of a political "hit". Manchin, the only Democrat supporting Kavanaugh, faces a competitive re-election race next month in a state Trump carried in 2016 by 42 percentage points.

Kavanaugh vehemently denied both allegations of sexual assault against Dr. Ford and of being a heavy drinker under oath in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week where he was visibly upset and later said in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal that he "might have been too emotional".

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the Federal Bureau of Investigation was unable to locate "any third parties who could attest to any of these allegations - no backup from any witnesses, including those specifically named as eyewitnesses by the people who brought the allegations in the first place". They said he also seemed ready to rule for Trump if federal authorities probing allegations of connections between the president's 2016 campaign and Russian Federation tried to pursue him in court.

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