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Lisa Murkowski voted against moving the nomination forward, also announcing she will vote against confirming Kavanaugh. Flake announced Friday morning that he would support Kavanaugh's confirmation, reiterating his statement of support the previous week.

Kavanaugh was sworn in as a justice Saturday evening in Washington after an extraordinarily fraught nomination that sparked angry protests, nail-biting votes and a national reckoning about sexual assault allegations and who should be believed. Kavanaugh deserves a presumption of innocence, Collins said, and allegations by Christine Blasey Ford and other women did not reach a threshold of certainty. As she prepared to start her floor speech, protesters in the Senate gallery broke out in a chant, yelling: "Show up for ME women, vote no!"

Collins, who had kept her vote close to her chest for the entirety of Kavanaugh's confirmation process, made the announcement in a lengthy speech from the Senate floor.

The stage was set for Saturday's final confirmation when the Senate ended debate on the nomination on Friday with a procedural 51-49 vote - a move cheered by Trump, who said he was "very proud". "It's just not worth it".

"I took the very, very hard vote that I did".

Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 margin, and Saturday's roll call vote seemed assured to be almost party-line, with just a single defector from each side. Manchin spent the rest of the floor vote sitting alone, apart from his colleagues on the Democratic side of the Senate chamber. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said that he will also vote yes on Kavanaugh. When her name was called, the Alaska Republican stood and said "no", her voice barely above a whisper. And my heart goes out to anyone who has experienced any type of sexual assault in their life.

Here are key moments from the Capitol and what to expect from Saturday's final vote.

The dramatic conclusion: Collins is a Republican - and she, like almost every member of her party in the Senate, will approve Kavanaugh's appointment.

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By Friday, reporters speculated about what she ate for lunch with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.

"What left wing groups and their Democratic allies have done to Judge Kavanaugh is nothing short of monstrous", the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Iowa's Chuck Grassley, said before the vote.

"I have reservations about this vote given the serious accusations against Judge Kavanaugh and the temperament he displayed in the hearing", Manchin said.

Those legal arguments evolved into a late-summer spectacle after Ford accused Kavanaugh of trying to rape her at an alcohol-infused high school gathering in 1982 when both were teenagers. In addition, Republican Senator Jeff Flake has also indicated he is a yes vote. "It was very hurtful", she said.

McConnell told The Associated Press in an interview that the "mob" of opposition - confronting senators in the hallways and at their homes - united his narrowly divided GOP majority as Kavanaugh's confirmation teetered and will give momentum to his party this fall. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Bill Nelson (D-FL), were once thought to be potential votes to confirm Kavanaugh, but over the last couple of weeks, they said that they will vote against Kavanaugh.

He added: "I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad".

When Mr Trump nominated Mr Kavanaugh in July, Democrats leapt to oppose him, saying that past statements and opinions showed he'd be a threat to the Roe v Wade case that assured the right to abortion. The Senate Judiciary Committee says the Federal Bureau of Investigation also interviewed two alleged eyewitnesses to the incident named by Ramirez and one of her college friends.

Kavanaugh's nomination as a replacement for retiring justice Anthony Kennedy was controversial from the start - but the initial focus was exclusively on the conservative views held by the married father of two.


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