Now that senators have voted to advance Kavanaugh's nomination, they will have to allow another 30 hours for procedural debate, putting the final vote in mid-afternoon on Saturday. Susan Collins, R-Maine and West Virginia Democratic Sen.
Sarah Palin cited a almost decade-old joke at her expense to warn fellow Alaskan Lisa Murkowski about her chances at re-election after the GOP senator came out against confirming Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Heitkamp is one of the most vulnerable Democrats on the ballot in November and has seen her poll numbers slip in recent weeks.
About 100 anti-Kavanaugh protesters climbed the Capitol's East Steps as the vote approached, pumping fists and waving signs, and U.S. Capitol Police officers began arresting some of them.
The investigation took place after Flake requested it following testimony from Christine Blasey Ford before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.
A former Supreme Court Justice even came out against Kavanaugh's confirmation, leading Kavanaugh to write a rare Wall Street Journal op-ed defending his independence and impartiality.
"What left wing groups and their Democratic allies have done to Judge Kavanaugh is nothing short of monstrous", Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said on the chamber's floor before the vote. Flake demanded the limited FBI investigation last week after being cornered in an elevator by screaming protesters moments before a Senate Judiciary Committee vote to recommend Kavanaugh's nomination.
Complicating matters, the office of Republican Steve Daines said he was planning to attend his daughter's wedding in Montana on Saturday.
Murkowski sat solemnly during the roll call and whispered "No" when it was her turn to vote.
The summary said that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents had questioned 10 of the 11 people they had wanted to interview and focused on those with potential first-hand knowledge of alleged sexual misconduct by President Trump's nominee, Fox News reported.
With a 51-49 majority, Republicans can't afford more than one defection if all Democrats were to vote together.
The reference to McCain was to that of the dramatic vote past year on repealing the Affordable Care Act, when the Arizona Republican provided the final "no" vote despite earlier voting to get to the measure.
Ford, who testified before the judiciary committee in Washington on September 27, alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982, when they were high school students. Manchin, the only Democrat supporting Kavanaugh, faces a competitive re-election race next month in a state Trump carried in 2016 by 42 percentage points.
But Daines's vote will not be needed Saturday unless one Republican defects and Democrats stay unified against Kavanaugh.
Still, Americans were kept guessing about the nominee's fate, as Alaska Republican Sen. He said that going forward, he will continue being a judge who is 'hardworking, even-keeled, open-minded, independent and dedicated to the Constitution and the public good'.
Yet Kavanaugh's path to confirmation seemed unfettered until Ford and two other women emerged with sexual misconduct allegations from the 1980s. The most prominent allegation was from California professor Christine Blasey Ford, who said that Kavanaugh assaulted her at a high school party.
"I would agree that the materials that I read did not provide direct corroboration, but there were a dozen, two dozen other witnesses who were not interviewed", Coons said. They also sought to paint him as a justice that would swing the court deeply to the right.