The final vote was 50-48 and interrupted several times by protesters as senators sat silent at their desks for the formal roll call vote.
Immediately after Collins' speech, Manchin of West Virginia issued a statement declaring his support.
In the end, Republicans were able to use their monopoly on political power on Capitol Hill and the White House to muscle through the confirmation, which was almost derailed by Christine Blasey Ford's allegations that the judge assaulted her when they were teenagers in the 1980s.
Kavanaugh's nomination process has been plagued in recent weeks by sexual misconduct allegations made by three women. Those accusations transformed the clash from a routine struggle over judicial ideology into an angry jumble of questions about victims' rights, the presumption of innocence and personal attacks on nominees.
There were no last minute surprises or curveballs - Brett Kavanaugh got the votes he needed to be confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States. but just barely. The lone holdout Senator, Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, has indicated that she might vote no. "I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said". "But we also had a case where Judge Kavanaugh came forward and said, 'I'm 100 percent certain that this did not happen, ' so here you have two people who are each 100 percent certain of what they're saying under pain of perjury".
In an unexpected move on the eve of Friday's vote, retired supreme court justice John Paul Stevens said Kavanaugh's strikingly partisan tone while denying the allegations against him before the Senate judiciary committee last week should disqualify him.More news: The mystery remains unsolved as NASA addresses an unexplained space station hole
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Republican and Democratic strategists expect Kavanaugh's nomination to galvanize their voters ahead of the midterm elections.
The upper house is split 51-49 in favour of the Republicans and the vote was largely along party lines. That is a state that President Donald Trump won by a very large margin - by more than 40 percentage point, in fact. While she was among a handful of Republicans who helped sink Trump's quest to obliterate President Barack Obama's health care law a year ago, this time she proved instrumental in delivering a triumph to Trump.
Susan Collins said in her lengthy and decisive floor speech Friday afternoon.
Murkowski announced Friday that she would be pairing her vote with Daines as a professional courtesy and a gesture of goodwill.
"Nothing like starting with binders full of women (and men) ready to take up the fight", she wrote.
Ford's allegations disrupted what had appeared to be a relatively smooth confirmation process for Kavanaugh. I did not do this back in high school or at any time'.
But while Kavanaugh's past rulings on access to abortion and contraception may hint at an end to Roe v. Wade, his presence on the Supreme Court doesn't necessarily guarantee it.