Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski take divergent paths on Brett Kavanaugh
06 October 2018, 10:25 | Erica Roy
ASSOCIATED PRESS The entrance to the Office of Senate Security is seen on Capitol Hill today in Washington
Two Republican waverers, Susan Collins and Jeff Flake, have finally made a decision to back the judge. However, some Republicans were concerned that Flake would change his mind, since he had called for a delay in the vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation to allow the FBI to conduct a brief investigation into the allegations against the judge.
Republicans hold a 51-49 majority in the U.S. Senate, and with the two key senators choosing to vote in favour of Kavanaugh, the confirmation looked locked-in late on Friday.
Senator Collins ended hopes she would side with her Democratic colleagues in the final vote, telling senate colleagues she did not believe the "charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court".
"I would say if we're talking about the Supreme Court and Judge Kavanaugh, I think he's highly qualified for the Supreme Court".
The senate is expected to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday around 9pm United Kingdom time.
The final confirmation vote, scheduled for Saturday, needs support from at least 50 senators.
What was already a sharply partisan battle became an intense political drama when university professor Christine Blasey Ford accused Mr Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were in high school in Maryland in 1982.
The Democrats are still smarting from the previous Supreme Court appointment.
A final vote on whether Judge Kavanaugh will join the nine-member panel could take place as soon as Saturday. Heidi Heitkamp's re-election bid in North Dakota is doomed, the more damage Ford's tale takes-and the more individuals implicated in her last-minute attempt to derail Kavanaugh's nomination-the more Democrats are going down.
"I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been", Kavanaugh wrote in the Journal.
On Friday, Sen. Jeff Flake, the Republican who stalled Kavanaugh's nomination process by wielding his leverage to call for the Federal Bureau of Investigation review, announced he would vote for Kavanaugh unless something major changes before Saturday.
"I think she understands that this has been a very hard time for him and his family, just as it's been an incredibly hard time for her and her family", Banks said. Jeff Flake said he would back Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh would replace the retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was a swing vote on issues such as abortion, campaign finance and same-sex marriage.
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Republican Sen. Steve Daines has a scheduling conflict for Saturday - his daughter's wedding - but has said he will make it back to vote yes for Kavanaugh. Others in the gallery could hardly hear her.
Ford testified in front of the Senate Judicial Committee last week on the events of the alleged attack. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) withheld the allegations against Kavanaugh for eight weeks until after the confirmation hearings were completed.
The dramatic Senate floor announcement by perhaps the chamber's most moderate Republican ended most of the suspense over a tortuous, election-season battle that had left Kavanaugh's fate in doubt for almost a month after the first accusation against him.
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