We’re ending our live coverage for the day, thanks for following along. Here’s a recap of what happened:
- With support from and , the two final key senators considered “undecided”, Kavanaugh is expected to be confirmed by a .
- Collins, a Maine Republican, is facing significant backlash, including a and when she is up for re-election.
- Collins cast doubts on Dr Christine Blasey Ford’s story in a lengthy her decision to vote yes, saying, “The allegations fail to meet the more-likely-than-not standard.”
- Manchin, a Democrat, was the last undecided senator to announce his decision and immediately .
- Manchin he had “reservations”, but added, “I have found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist who will follow the Constitution.”
- Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski advancing Kavanaugh to the final vote, saying she believed he was “not the right man for the court”.
- Jeff Flake of Arizona, another closely watched Republican, .
Here’s some useful historical context on how Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote will compare to past supreme court votes:
It is on track to be one of the closest supreme court confirmation votes in history:
Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, is facing backlash for comments about why the Republicans on the panel are all male:
According to the Wall Street Journal, said:
It’s a lot of work – maybe they don’t want to do it. My chief of staff of 33 years tells me we’ve tried to recruit women and we couldn’t get the job done.”
He apparently returned later to clarify his remarks, saying, “We have a hard time getting men on the committee. It’s just a lot of work whether you’re a man or a woman, it doesn’t matter.”
Grassley has also said he is still going to be investigating Dr Ford’s allegations:
With Kavanaugh on track to be confirmed, some are asking whether impeachment could follow. The Washington Post published a helpful analysis of this question earlier:
In short, the impeachment process is a possibility if the Democrats regain control of the House. Some Democrats and other critics have accused Kavanaugh of repeatedly lying under oath, which could potentially be the basis for impeachment.
If the Democrats took control, it’s possible that the House Judiciary Committee would launch an investigation of Kavanaugh and draft articles of impeachment, the Post noted. The likely Democratic chair of this committee has said he would support this effort.
Sarah Palin has also hinted that she would consider running against Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski, the only Republican to vote against advancing Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Murkowski is up for re-election in 2022. Palin, the former governor of Alaska and a GOP candidate for vice president in 2008, has been advocating for Kavanaugh on social media.
Susan Rice, former United Nations ambassador and national security adviser to President Obama, has suggested she may consider running against Susan Collins:
The single-word tweet came less than an hour after Collins announced she would be voting for Kavanaugh, effectively securing the confirmation. The family of Rice’s mother is from Maine, and she has apparently spent time there during summers.
Rice is not the only one expressing interest in Collins’ seat:
A crowdfunding campaign for Susan Collins’ opponent has now raised over $2m. The donations came pouring in as the Republican senator, a key undecided vote, gave a lengthy speech this afternoon announcing her decision to vote for Kavanaugh.
It appeared that there has been so much web traffic to the donation site that the page has temporarily crashed.
Kavanaugh has votes to be confirmed
With Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Susan Collins both declaring their intention to vote for Kavanaugh, it appears the judge is on track to have the votes he needs to be confirmed. After a procedural vote advanced the nomination earlier in the day, the final vote is expected on Saturday.
The confirmation was already set to be finalized with Collins’ vote, which would likely have put vice president Mike Pence in a position to break a tie. Now, it appears all but certain that Kavanaugh will be confirmed.
Another dramatic protest is unfolding around senator Joe Manchin, the Democrat who has announced he is voting to confirm Kavanaugh. People are chanting “Look at us! Look at us!” and “Shame!” as he speaks to reporters.
Asked about whether he believed the FBI investigation was adequate, he said:
There’s always more that could’ve been done … I looked at what was in front of me, and I had to make a decision.”
Joe Manchin to vote yes
Sam Levin here, continuing our live coverage of Kavanaugh’s confirmation fight.
Democratic senator Joe Manchin, considered the last “undecided” senator, has just announced that he is voting to confirm Kavanaugh. He said in a statement:
I have reservations about this vote given the serious accusations against Judge Kavanaugh and the temperament he displayed in the hearing. However, based on all of the information I have available to me, including the recently completed FBI report, I have found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist who will follow the Constitution and determine cases based on the legal findings before him.”
The announcement came shortly after Republican senator Susan Collins also said she would be voting to confirm in a lengthy speech.