After a bitter partisan fight that gripped the United States, senators on Friday voted to end the debate on Kavanaugh’s nomination, setting up a final confirmation vote for Saturday afternoon, despite accusations of sexual misconduct against the judge. Senators backed Kavanaugh by 51 to 49 in a procedural vote.
Four undecided senators — Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) — declined to announce their positions even minutes before the vote, giving jitters to the judge, Presstv Reported.
During the last minutes, Flake, Manchin and Collins decided to vote in favor of Kavanaugh’s nomination. Manchin was the only Democrat to vote “yes.”
Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, but Trump has continued to support him and has mocked the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford – the main accuser -- before the Senate Judiciary Committee against the Supreme Court nominee.
Republicans in the Senate acknowledged ahead of time that they did not know the outcome of the Friday vote.
“This may be one of the exceptions to the rule. Ordinarily we would know but a number of my colleagues … reserve their right to make their own announcement,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the Senate majority whip, said Friday morning before the vote. “So there’s going to be a lot of drama.”
Hours before the vote, Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) announced that he would leave Washington after the procedural vote for his daughter’s wedding on Saturday, leaving Republicans short of the 51 votes required for the final confirmation vote.
Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 margin. Republicans now need at least one Democrat vote for the final confirmation vote.
Daines, after the Friday vote, told reporters that they had the final vote “covered.”
“We’re going to have a new Supreme Court justice this weekend and I’m going to get to walk my daughter down the aisle,” Daines said.
The approval of the conservative judge for the position would place the Supreme Court under Republican influence.
The controversial nomination of Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court by Trump has caused protests on Capitol Hill.
Protesters were held on Friday outside the Senate and the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. Police arrested a number of demonstrators.
On Thursday, police arrested hundreds of protesters after they descended on a pair of Senate office buildings to call on senators to vote against the alleged sex offender.
Protesters, many dressed in black, rallied outside the Supreme Court against Kavanaugh whom the women have accused of sexual misconduct during the 80s.
Some of the signs held by the protesters read "Believe Survivors" and "Kava-Nope". Protesters then crowded into the Hart Senate Office Building after rallying in front of the Supreme Court. Hundreds of them, including actress Amy Schumer, were arrested.
A number of women have approached lawmakers to share their stories of surviving sexual assault allegedly launched by Kavanaugh.