Brett Kavanaugh was approved to move to the final step of the confirmation process for the United States Supreme Court on Friday morning and following speeches from key votes from Senators that were yet-undecided, he is anticipated to be confirmed during the final vote on Saturday.
After a week fraught with debate over his nomination—including an FBI investigation, senators’ changing votes, and President Trump’s mockery of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony—the narrow vote (51-49) advances Kavanaugh to the final hurdle between him and his confirmation as a Supreme Court justice.
Kavanaugh has been enveloped in controversy since Dr. Ford reported that he sexually assaulted her as a teenager—and then two more women, Deborah Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick, also reported that Kavanaugh had assaulted them as well. His once-assured confirmation has been shrouded in doubts ever since the claims, especially following Dr. Ford’s moving testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Contrasting Dr. Ford, Kavanaugh’s testimony was filled with anger and emotion—plus, continuous mentions of his “calendars.”
Retired Justice Stevens calls Kavanaugh’s hearing performance disqualifying https://t.co/YKrdkztMfa
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 4, 2018
The Senate’s procedural vote follows the week-long FBI probe into the claims made by Dr. Ford against Kavanaugh—however, many people have expressed dissatisfaction into the supposedly “thorough” report by the FBI.
Stating there was no substantiation to Dr. Ford’s claims, the FBI said they could not corroborate her accusations. There were a few glaring issues—like the fact that neither Dr. Ford nor Brett Kavanaugh were even interviewed for the investigation. Many have called the investigation a sham and the American Bar Association has even re-opened its evaluation of Kavanaugh due to his behavior during his hearing.
Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), the senator who demanded a delay until an FBI investigation into Kavanaugh was completed, has stated that he feels confident in the FBI investigation, however, and will go forward in voting for Kavanaugh.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 5, 2018
Other swing senators have made their positions clear during the procedural vote Friday—Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) confirmed that she will be voting “no” on Kavanaugh.
However, key senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) voted yes to moving Kavanaugh’s nomination to the final confirmation vote.
Collins announced her final decision to vote "aye," as protesters gather in her Maine headquarters. According to her statement, she opted to move forward with Kavanaugh in spite of the allegations made by Dr. Ford.
"Mr. President, we’ve heard a lot of charges and counter charges about Judge Kavanaugh. But as those who have known him best have attested, he has been an exemplary public servant, judge, teacher, coach, husband, and father," she said. "Despite the turbulent, bitter fight surrounding his nomination, my fervent hope is that Brett Kavanaugh will work to lessen the divisions in the Supreme Court so that we have far fewer 5-4 decisions and so that public confidence in our Judiciary and our highest court is restored. Mr. President, I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh."
Notably, a campaign to fund Collins' future competitor for her seat raised more than $2 Million, as Rolling Stone noted, ahead of her speech, with the website reportedly crashing from the number of visitors.