Republicans in the Senate successfully voted to end debate on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to become the next Supreme Court Justice, 88 days after President Donald Trump first nominated him to the nation's highest court.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is still asking Christine Blasey Ford's legal team to turn over information relating to her allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
In a possible indication that Kavanaugh's chances of winning confirmation rose after the release of the FBI investigation, two key GOP senators - Collins and Jeff Flake of Arizona - who have not yet said how they plan to vote, said on Thursday that they considered the FBI findings to be thorough. Sen.
The letter states that, during last week's hearings, Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial temperament, which disqualifies him from any court, especially the Supreme Court.
Collins, who voted earlier to move Kavanaugh's nomination to a final vote, was one of four lawmakers who had not revealed their decisions until Friday.
In explaining her vote to reporters, Murkowski said on Friday that she had not come to a decision on how she would vote until walking into the Senate floor that morning. Democrat Joe Manchin voted for cloture, which meant that Vice President Pence did not have to be brought in to break a tie.
Democrats assailed the probe as an incomplete vetting constrained by a White House determined to push through the lifetime appointment of Trump's man.
Besides interviewing and talking to people who know Kavanaugh, Collins said she assembled a team of 19 attorneys to assist her in examining his judicial record.
Daines, who has said he will vote "yes" to confirm Kavanaugh, was preparing to hop on a plane - offered by longtime family friend and colleague Rep. Greg Gianforte - after his daughter's vows to be able to fly back to Washington to cast a deciding vote if necessary. His combative and at times downright angry performance drew criticism that Kavanaugh lacked the unbiased, judicious demeanor needed to sit on the high court.
Murkowski was re-elected in 2016 and Senators serve six-year terms, so she will be in office until at least 2022.
"She is practical enough that she is going to put that behind her and have the best relationship she can with someone she is going to have to put up with for 30 years", said one Washington lawyer, who declined to be named because he argues cases at the court.
Joe Manchin was also confronted by protesters on October 5, 2018, who demanded he oppose Kavanaugh's nomination. Collins and a group of Senate Republicans reportedly had lunch with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Murkowski's vote was the latest example of the independent streak she forged since overcoming a Republican primary challenge in 2010 to win re-election as a rare write-in candidate.
Many Kavanaugh supporters, like Laura Murphy, pointed to the investigation as reason to proceed with the confirmation.
"I think Judge Kavanaugh is a qualified individual and, while I am respectful of Professor Ford, I don't think the evidence is there to corroborate her claims", Kolbe said.