Kavanaugh Confirmation Likely - Collins: Yes; Manchin: Yes; Flake: Probably

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Democrat Joe Manchin voted for cloture, which meant that Vice President Pence did not have to be brought in to break a tie.

Manchin, D-W.Va., announced his decision moments after Sen.

At 3 PM Collins will announce on the Senate floor how she will vote on Saturday.

Manchin said he had reservations about Kavanaugh because of the sexual misconduct allegations against him "and the temperament he displayed in the hearing".

With only hours left before the Senate is set to vote, Kavanaugh's confirmation seems all but certain. Sen.

The senator, who replaced longtime Democrat Robert C. Byrd upon his death in 2010 and was first elected to the same seat in 2012, is running against West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey on November 6.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (KEER'-sten JIHL'-uh-brand) of NY says there's one fundamental question for senators when they decide Kavanaugh's fate: "Do we, as a country, value women?"

The votes of the four senators are crucial because Republicans control the Senate by a razor-thin 51-49 margin and can afford only one defection. That includes a visit September 29 to WesBanco Arena in Wheeling. Manchin, who faces a competitive re-election next month in a state Trump overwhelmingly carried in 2016, voted to advance Kavanaugh's nomination in a key procedural vote earlier Friday.

Eight Gonzaga law school professors are among the more than 2,400 signatories to a letter to the U.S. Senate asking the body not to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The liberal justices - Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor - need to seek support from at least one conservative in ideologically divisive cases, so they have a strong incentive not to alienate the new arrival, court experts said.

Kavanaugh's opponents raised concerns that he'd push the court further right, including possible sympathetic rulings for Trump.

"He's clearly a learned judge, but in my conscience, because that's how I have to vote at the end of the day, with my conscience, I could not conclude that he is the right person for the court at this time", she said during a speech on the Senate floor on October 5.

Chaotic scenes in quake-hit Indonesia as bodies lie unclaimed
In the hills above Palu , volunteers are working to dig a mass grave , big enough for thousands of bodies, according to the BBC . Many people were trapped and buried under collapsed houses. "So, on this issue, we can not pressure them to hold much longer".

"Going forward, you can count on me to be the same kind of judge and person I have been for my entire 28-year legal career: hardworking, even-keeled, open-minded, independent and dedicated to the constitution and the public good".

"Certain fundamental principles about due process, the presumption of innocence, and fairness do bear on my thinking, and I can not abandon them", Collins said while addressing the central matter that delayed and almost derailed the nomination: Christine Blasey Ford's allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party decades ago.

Senator Collins said: "We will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness". More than 300 have been arrested in anti-Kavanaugh protests this week in the nation's capital.

The timing of the final vote is also up in the air.

It has nine judges, all of whom are appointed for life, and the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh is likely to give it a more conservative hue. Republicans have 51 seats in the Senate, which is enough to get Kavanaugh through, but not if more than one Senator vote against him. Joe Manchin of West Virginia told reporters he still had not decided.

Midway through the vote, as stoic, stone-faced senators sat speechless around them, Collins and Murkowski began an animated conversation in hushed tones. Collins and a group of Senate Republicans reportedly had lunch with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, a fellow moderate and a friend of Collins, became the only Republican to say she opposed Kavanaugh.

"Very proud of the U.S. Senate for voting "YES" to advance the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh!". Susan Collins, following Collins' announcement that she would vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Murkowski is the only Republican Senator to indicate she wouldn't vote for Kavanaugh.

Deeply coloring the day's events was a burning resentment by partisans on both sides, on and off the Senate floor.

Democrats assailed the probe as an incomplete vetting constrained by a White House determined to push through the lifetime appointment of Trump's man. Yet she later did "clarify" that she believes Ford's claim that Kavanaugh attacked her. Trump said in a tweet.

Judge Kavanaugh and Ford both gave emotional testimonies regarding her allegations. Two other women have also accused him of sexual misconduct during his university years.