Brett Kavanaugh is set to become the Supreme Court justice who inaugurates a conservative majority for a generation, after wavering Republicans closed ranks to give him sufficient votes for confirmation in a historic victory for President Donald Trump.
During the hearing where he defended himself against sexual misconduct allegations from Christine Blasey Ford and two other women, Kavanaugh denied the accusations and launched into a lengthy attack on Democrats.
Murkowski said that she internally fought with the consideration that Kavanaugh's manner before the Senate Judiciary Committee would be "too unfair a burden to place on somebody that is dealing with the worst. most horrific allegations".
Democrats railed against the nomination in Senate floor speeches Friday night and Saturday morning, and protests opposing Kavanaugh are expected throughout the day on Saturday. "It just may be that in my view, he's not the right man for the court at this time".
His confirmation would also allow Trump to hit the campaign trail ahead of the November 6 congressional elections bragging that he has kept his 2016 promise to mold a more conservative American judiciary.
Senate Republicans projected optimism on Thursday after reviewing the results of an FBI investigation into allegations against the nominee that they say indicate there is no corroboration for accusations he has faced.
The roll call seemed destined to be almost party-line, with just a single defector from each side capping a contest fought against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement and President Donald Trump's unyielding support of his nominee. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a state Trump won big.More news: Petrol, Diesel cheaper by Rs 5 from midnight
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Joe Manchin on Friday after he announced he'll vote yes to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, drowning him out as he tried to explain his decision.
A dramatic and draining showdown that held Washington in thrall for weeks finally moved toward resolution when Maine Sen.
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski was the only Republican to break ranks.
Manchin, a red-state Democrat, earlier also voted yes to advance Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to a vote in the full Senate.
"This is one vote that we probably won't know until the votes are actually cast", Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, told reporters on Capitol Hill.
As she spoke, several hundred anti-Kavanaugh demonstrators chanted on the lawn between the Capitol and the Supreme Court. But he said that after factoring in the Federal Bureau of Investigation report, "I have found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist who will follow the Constitution".
Republicans woke up on Friday without the necessary 50 votes to push ahead on Kavanaugh's nomination, people with direct knowledge of the situation tell CNN, though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his deputies were optimistic that they'd get there by the time of the vote.
Still, she sent signals that Kavanaugh had cleared a hurdle by reassuring her that he believed the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on abortion rights is settled law.
Kavanaugh would replace the retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was a swing vote on issues including abortion, campaign finance and same-sex marriage.