Senate Set to Confirm Kavanaugh for Supreme Court in Rare Saturday Vote

October 6, 2018 Updated: October 6, 2018

WASHINGTON–The Senate is expected to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Oct. 6, after a weekslong delay caused by unsubstantiated allegations brought against him by three accusers.

Update: The Senate confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Oct. 6.

Original story continues below.

After weeks of intense debate, which has gripped the nation, the appeals court judge won vows of support on Oct. 5, from two centrist senators, leaving no clear path in the Senate for Kavanaugh‘s opponents to block him.

He cleared a procedural test on Oct. 5, when senators voted 51-49 to advance his nomination to a final vote, which is expected to occur around 5 p.m. on Oct. 6.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation will give President Donald Trump a clear win in his drive to cement conservative dominance of the high court, a key campaign promise, which the president said contributed to his victory in the 2016 election.

Trump nominated Kavanaugh to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement earlier this year.

With important cases on social issues and business regulation headed for the court, Kavanaugh will likely give conservatives the upper hand.

His confirmation will also allow Trump to hit the campaign trail ahead of the Nov. 6 elections celebrating that he has kept his 2016 promise to confirm conservative justices to the Supreme Court.

“I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh,” declared Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), on the Senate floor on Oct. 5.

She praised his judicial record and argued there was no corroboration of the sexual assault charges made against him by psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford. All of the witnesses Ford named refuted her account. Two other women also accused Kavanaugh of misconduct but did not provide witnesses or evidence. Kavanaugh has denied all the allegations.

Moments after Collins pledged to back Kavanaugh, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), in a tough race for re-election in West Virginia where Trump is popular, also declared his support.

Many Democrats vowed to derail Kavanaugh’s nomination minutes after Trump announced his choice for the Supreme Court. In a move that left Republicans furious, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) withheld the allegations against Kavanaugh for eight weeks until after the confirmation hearings were completed.

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell led the nominee’s defense, calling him “one of the most impressive, stunningly qualified nominees in our nation’s history” and accusing Democrats of a “smear” campaign.

Trump reaffirmed his support for Kavanaugh with hours left before the vote.

“Women for Kavanaugh, and many others who support this very good man, are gathering all over Capital Hill in preparation for a 3-5 P.M. VOTE,” the president wrote on Twitter. “It is a beautiful thing to see – and they are not paid professional protesters who are handed expensive signs. Big day for America!”

Reuters contributed to this report

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