Arrests on US Capitol steps ahead of vote on top judge

Cheryl Sanders
October 8, 2018

The court has the final say on issues such as abortion and gun control.

US President Donald Trump nevertheless cheered the result of the cloture vote. McConnell also said he didn't know he had the votes until senators were actually on the floor and voting.

The Senate is likely to vote late Saturday. Lisa Murkowski voted "no" on cloture over Brett Kavanaugh, indicating that she is against closing debate on his nomination. And he has reason for a "yes" vote: Manchin, who voted for Gorsuch's confirmation, is up for reelection in a state that Trump won in 2016. Murkowski said she'd use an obscure procedure that lets one senator offset the absence of another without affecting the outcome.

"We will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, tempting though it may be", Collins said in remarks that also addressed the sexual-abuse allegations against Kavanaugh.

After opposing a key procedural vote Friday morning on the nomination, Murkowski explained her vote to reporters, calling it "the most hard evaluation" she has had to make. Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced they would support Kavanaugh.

But she said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had found no corroborating evidence from witnesses whose names Ms Ford had provided.

Democrats don't seem to have the votes to keep Brett Kavanaugh from joining the Supreme Court, but that's not stopping them from taking to the Senate floor in a parade of speeches into the early morning against the conservative jurist. On Friday morning, he was reported to be arranging travel back to Washington DC for the final vote. "I might have been too emotional at times", he wrote in an article headlined, "I am an Independent, Impartial Judge", published by The Wall Street Journal.

Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegations and said that his reputation and his family have been "permanently destroyed by vicious an false additional accusations".

Senator Jeff Flake, Republican, who's repeatedly battled Trump and will retire in January, said he'd vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation "unless something big changes".

Murkowski broke with her party as the only one of four key swing votes to oppose advancing his nomination.

Daines will walk his daughter down the aisle in Montana on Saturday, shortly before the crucial Senate vote to confirm Kavanaugh to the nation's highest court.

Collins noted that the Supreme Court confirmation process of Kavanaugh is akin to a "gutter-level political campaign" and a "dysfunctional circus" when it should be a "solemn occasion".

Meanwhile, the US Capitol Police arrested 302 people for protesting in the Senate office buildings against Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Other reports by iNewsToday