Senators voted 51-49 to limit debate, defeating Democratic efforts to scuttle the nomination with endless delays. Minutes after she finished speaking, West Virginia Democratic Sen.
Stevens, who was appointed by Republican President Gerald Ford and who often sided with liberal justices on key rulings, said he initially thought Kavanaugh was qualified, but that "his performance at the hearings ultimately changed my mind".
Kavanaugh's confirmation was stalled by allegations of sexual assault against him, though he looks likely to be confirmed in a final vote on Saturday. You'll all feel much better!
When Sen. Susan Collins spoke on the Senate floor to announce she would vote for his confirmation, protesters began chanting: "Vote no, show up for ME women". Voting for an end to the endless debate that defines the Senate is not the same thing as voting for Kavanaugh's final confirmation.
Republicans can afford to lose one "yes" vote, leaving the tally deadlocked at 50-50, because Vice President Mike Pence would step in to break the tie in the GOP's favor.
Republicans Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Jeff Flake and Democrat Joe Manchin. If the vote fails, it would deal a major blow to the nomination and throw the possibility of confirmation into serious doubt.
Mr Trump and his fellow Republicans said the new Federal Bureau of Investigation report had cleared their nominee. Democrats will assume Democrats are telling the truth; Republicans will assume the same of other Republicans. That reflected Democrats' lasting umbrage over Republicans' 2016 refusal to even consider Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia.
The Alaska senator was the only Republican Friday to vote against moving forward on Kavanaugh, calling it a "very, very difficult" decision. They were surrounded by colleagues from both parties after the vote.
The U.S. Supreme Court is seen at near sunset in Washington Thursday Oct. 4 2018. ASSOCIATED PRESS
Republicans have said that a week-long investigation, summed up in the FBI dossier, had turned up nothing to corroborate the sexual assault allegations against the 53-year-old Kavanaugh, who now sits on a federal court in Washington.
We do not know what was in the FBI's most recent background check into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Democrats belittled the bureau's findings, saying agents constrained by the White House hadn't reached out to numerous other people with potentially important information.
Thousands of anti-Kavanaugh protesters rallied outside the Supreme Court and entered a Senate office building, holding signs such as "Believe Survivors" and "Kava-Nope". "In addition to the concerns about his past conduct, last Thursday's hearing called into question Judge Kavanaugh's current temperament, honesty, and impartiality".
"There is simply no reason to deny Judge Kavanaugh a seat on the Supreme Court based on the evidence presented to us", Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa said on the Senate floor before the vote. In a video shared widely on Twitter, Schumer said "I think we're going to get arrested".
In public testimony last week Prof Ford said she had been assaulted by Judge Kavanaugh when they were both teenagers in 1982. She has faced pressure from home-state Alaskans, including Native Alaskan women, who have described the scourge of sexual assault. She also cited Kavanaugh's angry behavior and criticism of Democrats at last week's hearing on the allegations.
Professor Christine Blasey Ford and U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh (R), testify in this combination photo during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation, September 27, 2018.