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Murkowski to vote no on Kavanaugh

08 October 2018

President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday morning about "Women for Kavanaugh", a group supporting his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, claiming they are not paid protestors.

Their support makes Saturday's vote to confirm Kavanaugh an apparent formality after a battle that riveted the nation for almost a month.

Rice tweeted a little later that she was "not making any announcements" but was "deeply disappointed" by Collins' vote.

By Friday afternoon, the sole remaining undeclared senator was Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat. Former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential Sarah Palin nominee, a long-time political foe of the Murkowski family, suggested she might challenge the incumbent senator when she's up for re-election.

Republican Senate Judiciary Chair Sen. Trump's first nominee, Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed to the Supreme Court a year ago after the Senate changed its rules so that a nominee could be confirmed to the high court with a simple majority.

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Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, told reporters that the Senate Judiciary Committee's inability to attract Republican women might be caused by its heavy workload, a remark the panel's chairman tried to retract a few minutes later. She said that the process had not been "fair" to Kavanaugh, but that ultimately it had become about something "bigger than a nominee".

Collins said she had met with "thousands of my constituents", noting that both supporters and opponents of the judge had given her their opinions in the days since Ford came forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

Deborah Ramirez, the second woman to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh, has released a statement criticizing the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Senate's response to the allegations.

Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told CBS News that he expected the vote to take place between 4 and 5 p.m.

"We will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, tempting though it may be", she said.

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Earlier on Friday, Senate lawmakers backed Kavanaugh by 51 to 49 in a procedural vote that moved the Republican-controlled Senate toward a definitive decision. "It will not change the outcome of the vote" Murkowski said on the Senate floor on Friday night.

Senator Collins ended hopes she would side with her Democratic colleagues in the final vote, telling senate colleagues she did not believe the "charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court".

As Washington Post White House reporter Seung Min Kim explained, Murkowski's vote likely signals a "no" vote on the final Kavanaugh nomination vote as well.

"I believe that Judge Kavanaugh is a good man".

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Murkowski to vote no on Kavanaugh