Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 margin, and Saturday's roll call vote seemed assured to be almost party-line, with just a single defector from each side.
The announcements by Republican Susan Collins of ME and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia ended most of the suspense over a political battle that has transfixed the nation - though die-hard Democrats insisted on arguing through the night to a mostly empty Senate chamber. "The fact that the FBI did not interview either Christine or Judge Kavanaugh, by itself, renders absurd any assertion that the investigation was 'thorough'".
Announcements by Republican Susan Collins of ME and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia that they'll support the conservative jurist made Saturday's confirmation vote a formality, an anticlimactic finale to a battle that riveted the nation for almost a month.
USA Today will be providing live coverage in the player above of the Senate floor for the votes and debate on the Kavanaugh nomination. "I would say if we're talking about the Supreme Court and Judge Kavanaugh, I think he's highly qualified for the Supreme Court", Mrs. Trump said while speaking to reporters in Egypt during a solo global trip to Africa.
"Laura and I have known and respected Brett Kavanaugh for decades, and we stand by our comments the night Judge Kavanaugh was nominated", he said in September in a statement provided to CNN by his spokesperson, Freddy Ford. "It's just not worth it".
With just hours before the vote, more than 1,000 protesters, mostly women, broke through barricades and staged a raucous sit-in protest on the US Capitol steps, just feet away from the imposing doors to the Rotunda. "We've sort of been under assault, and everybody made a decision to stand up to the mob and not be intimated by these people", he said.
Mr Kavanaugh denies the accusation. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) walks towards to the Senate chamber to listen to Sen.
Murkowski said based on the statements of other senators that it appeared Kavanaugh would be voted through the nomination process but that she could not support that with her vote.
Koegler identified himself as a close friend of Ford and her husband, saying he has known them for more than five years and had coached their son's baseball team.
Politically, with a chance of increasing his majority in the midterm elections, McConnell said the GOP is already seeing improvement in polling on Senate races due to the Democratic opposition to Kavanaugh combined with the protests.
In a sense it would reflect a high water mark of the Trump presidency: Republican control of the White House, the Senate, the House of Representatives and the judiciary's top court. She went on to say that the allegations "fail to meet the more likely than not standard". A few Democrats sat stone-faced nearby.
Murkowski said she was displeased with the nomination process and felt that disrespect to Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, had gotten out of hand. That could lead Republican leaders to delay the final vote on Kavanugh until Sunday or next week. That reflected Democrats' lasting umbrage over Republicans' 2016 refusal to even consider Merrick Garland, President Obama's nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia. They said he also seemed ready to rule for Trump if federal authorities probing his 2016 campaign's connections to Russian Federation try to pursue him in court. Two other women later emerged with sexual misconduct allegations from the 1980s.
Murkowski said after last week's hearings before the Judiciary Committee that she felt strongly that "the appearance of impropriety was unavoidable".
Kavanaugh was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts and retired Justice Anthony Kennedy Saturday evening.
Collins told a rapt Senate that she does not believe that sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh rise to a level to "fairly prevent" him from serving on the high court.