Judge Brett Kavanaugh confirmed to be next U.S. Supreme Court Justice

US Senate poised to confirm Kavanaugh to SC

Deborah Ramirez says the Senate is "looking the other way" when it comes to her accusation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when they were students at Yale.

Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 margin, and Saturday's roll call vote seems destined to be almost party-line, with just a single defector from each side.

Her vote is disappointing enough, but her speech was a giant middle finger to all survivors of sexual assault.

Collins said Christine Blasey Ford's dramatic testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week describing Kavanaugh's alleged 1982 assault on her were "sincere, painful and compelling".

Of the four lawmakers who had not revealed their decisions until Friday, Republican Senators Susan Collins (Maine) and Jeff Flake (Arizona) voted yes, as did Democrat Joe Manchin (West Virginia).

Collins' speech was immediately interrupted by protesters in the Senate gallery, who chanted "vote no", indicative of the vast pressure she faced to oppose Kavanaugh's nomination.

On Saturday, all Republican senators, with the exception of Sen. The Senate Judiciary Committee says the Federal Bureau of Investigation also interviewed two alleged eyewitnesses to the incident named by Ramirez and one of her college friends.

Ford, the 51-year-old research psychologist and professor who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers in the 1980s, believes she "did the right thing" in coming foward, according to her attorneys.

A final vote on whether Judge Kavanaugh will join the nine-member panel is scheduled for Saturday.

In the pivotal moment on Friday, Mrs Collins, perhaps the chamber's most moderate Republican, proclaimed her support for Mr Kavanaugh at the end of a Senate floor speech that lasted almost 45 minutes.

On Friday by a razor-thin margin, the Senate voted mostly down party lines in a 51-49 vote to move forward with a final confirmation vote for Kavanaugh, a move that sparked protests on the steps of the Capitol and across the nation.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer on Friday said Kavanaugh represents "a hard-right, conservative jurisprudence, far, far away from what average Americans believe".

The Senate is likely to vote late Saturday.

Collins noted that the Supreme Court confirmation process of Kavanaugh is akin to a "gutter-level political campaign" and a "dysfunctional circus" when it should be a "solemn occasion".

"We will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, tempting though it may be", Collins said in remarks that stretched for more than 40 minutes but addressed the sexual-abuse allegations only near the end. Eventually, Flake voted to recommend Kavanaugh for confirmation but conditioned his final vote on the FBI conducting a seventh background investigation on Kavanaugh.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) voted "Yes" on cloture and is a rumored "Yes" on the final vote.

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