Greg Gianforte's private plane could be critical to Kavanaugh's confirmation

Larry Hoffman
October 8, 2018

In explaining her vote to reporters, Murkowski said on Friday that she had not come to a decision on how she would vote until walking into the Senate floor that morning.

Hundreds of protesters against Judge Kavanaugh were arrested in Washington DC, on Thursday, including comedian Amy Schumer. Republicans - including Flake - said the report offered no corroborating evidence for Ford's claims, indicating they would go on to support Kavanaugh's confirmation.

In that same vein, a "yes" on cloture is not necessarily a "yes" on a final vote. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who won't be up for election for four years.

Mr Manchin, of West Virginia, represents a traditionally Republican state that Mr Trump won by a landslide.

A group gathered there Friday and fell silent when she announced her decision, CNN affiliate WGME reported.

"I stated my opposition to Brett Kavanaugh's appointment to the United States Supreme Court before Dr. Ford's allegations became public", said Senator King in part during his speech. You do not get to say you believe her, but not that part. Steve Daines, R-Mont., who will not be able to attend the vote because he will be at his daughter's wedding.

Murkowski sat quietly as the roll was called for the Friday vote.

Judge Kavanaugh made a final argument on his own behalf - penning an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

Murkowski called her decision, which she quietly announced in the chamber after other swing votes had announced they would vote in favor of Kavanaugh, "the most hard evaluation of a decision that I've ever had to make".

Comedian Amy Schumer and model Emily Ratajkowski were among 302 people held for demonstrating against the nominee. Flake frustrated some in the GOP by siding with his Democratic colleagues and insisting that they should not have a full vote on Kavanaugh until there was a week-long FBI investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh.

The first test vote on the nominee is due in a few hours.

Even before the lurid sexual assault charges surfaced, Democrats in the Republican-controlled Senate were fighting hard to stop Kavanaugh, saying his conservative judicial philosophy could result in rolling back abortion rights, gay rights and protections for immigrants.

That left unclear whether Friday's tally signalled that the 53-year-old federal appellate judge was on his way to the nation's highest court.

Brett Kavanaugh's elevation to the US Supreme Court is all but assured.

An AFP reporter saw more than 60 protesters handcuffed by US Capitol Police, after officers issued a warning and led them down the Capitol steps as the demonstrators raised clenched fists.

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