Sen. Jeff Flake to Vote in Favor of Kavanaugh Confirmation

Republican of Maine speaks on her phone as she walks to a room to read the report on the FBI investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington on Oct. 4 2018

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she couldn't abandon "the presumption of innocence and fairness", and that's why she could ultimately support Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Flake's "yes" vote - combined with his comments Thursday that the FBI's supplemental investigation had been thorough and provided no corroborating evidence of the allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez - suggest he will nearly certainly be a "yes" on final confirmation.

"Even in these situations, the standard is that a judge must act at all times in manner that projects confidence", she said.

"So that public confidence in our judiciary and our highest court is restored".

Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, a member of the GOP leadership, said he would be "very surprised" if Murkowski switches her vote. "Thousands of Mainers are trying desperately to tell her that she needs to protect abortion access and critical healthcare coverage across the country by voting "no" on Kavanaugh", Follayttar said in a statement.

Friday started as spellbinding drama as the quartet - Collins and fellow Republicans Jeff Flake, of Arizona, and Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, and Democrat Joe Manchin, of West Virginia - gradually began revealing how they would vote on Kavanaugh's nomination.

One lone Republican, Sen. Susan Collins has indicated she is a "yes" vote on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Collins voted to end debate on Kavanaugh's confirmation, paving the way for a final vote.

A FBI report sent to the Senate on Thursday said that based on its one-week supplemental background investigation, there is no corroboration of sexual misconduct allegations made against Kavanaugh. The decision may have further eroded the GOP's already shaky status among women voters. Still, failing to confirm Kavanaugh would have been a disaster for the Republicans and the party's victory may also energize conservatives.

On Friday the Senate voted along party lines to remove the last obstacle to holding a decisive vote this weekend.

It has the ultimate say on such contentious issues as abortion and gun control. Murkowski said she'd use an obscure procedure that lets one senator offset the absence of another without affecting the outcome.

Similarly, Republicans said the Federal Bureau of Investigation found nobody to support assault claims by Deborah Ramirez, who was a classmate of Kavanaugh's at Yale University in the 1980s.

"I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court", Collins said.

"Your swing vote could decide whether a rubber stamp for Trump's anti-healthcare, anti-woman, anti-labor agenda gets confirmed to the Supreme Court-costing millions of Americans their healthcare, their right to choose, and their lives", the page reads. Eleven Democrats voted for Thomas, while two Republicans opposed his confirmation.

"Collins VOTES NO on Kavanaugh OR we fund her future opponent", collected over $3 million from more than 100,000 pledges as of Saturday morning, including more than $1 million raised since Ms. Collins publicly spoke out Friday afternoon in support of President Trump's pending high court pick.

"I think the Democrats with their approach have provided Republicans who were not fired up about this election so much locker-room material that they can not wait to go out and vote", Rose said. "ME and America deserve better", she concluded.

"I take this obligation.as seriously as anything that I am obligated and privileged to vote on".

"Very proud of the US Senate for voting "YES" to advance the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh!" the president tweeted.

Ford's lawyers said their client did not watch the vote unfold on television.

In the vote on Gorsuch a year ago, the cloture and final confirmation votes lined up perfectly (with the exception of one Republican senator who missed the final vote for health reasons).

"This has truly been the most hard evaluation of a decision that I've ever had to make, and I've made some interesting ones in my political career", Murkowski said.

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