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Kavanaugh Over the Top, Headed for Confirmation

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, September 4, 2018. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Brett Kavanaugh on Friday secured the support of enough senators to be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court in a final vote set for Saturday.

Four swing-vote senators announced their decisions Friday. Senator Lisa Murkowski became the only Republican to come out definitively against Kavanaugh. Arizona Republican Jeff Flake said he plans to vote to confirm Kavanaugh barring some unexpected development. Maine Republican Susan Collins announced on the Senate floor that she would also support Kavanaugh. And minutes after Collins’s speech, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced that he would be the only Democrat to do vote for the nominee.

“I do hope that Judge Kavanaugh will not allow the partisan nature this process took to follow him onto the court,” Manchin said in a statement.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation was thrown into doubt earlier this month when California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party when they were both in high school. Ford testified last week to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the assault, followed by Kavanaugh, who gave a fiery defense of himself, categorically denying the allegations.

After a week’s delay for an FBI investigation of the allegations, Manchin and Collins were apparently satisfied, and announced their support, pushing Kavanaugh over the simple-majority threshold of 51 votes needed for confirmation.

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