By Aaron Miller-
Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court seat is very close to confirmation stage following the wide backing of key senators despite an FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations.
A number of previously undecided senators key to the outcome of the final vote today confirmed on Friday their approval Mr Kavanaugh’s nomination to the court after a mammoth series of hearings lasting more than 30 hours.
The backing flies in the face of Kavanaugh’s controversial performance at last week’s hearing in which he was accused of a mischaracterizing of his drinking habits at Yale almost 5 decades ago. The issue arose after the aspiring U.S High Court judge was accused of attacking professor Christine Ford at a party, and trying to grind her whilst covering her mouth tightly with his hands. He has also been accused of misconduct by three other women
Kavanaugh just about edged a procedural ballot 51 to 49 after key swing voters such as Republican senator Susan Collins and Democrat Joe Manchin announced they would support his appointment.Republican Senator Susan Collins and Joe Manchin, a Democrat have both indicated their backing for the judge on Friday. A final vote on whether Judge Kavanaugh will join the nine-member panel is scheduled for Saturday. If confirmed, the position is for life.
Senator Manchin told fellow senators she did not believe the “charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court”.
“The facts presented do not mean that Professor Ford was not sexually assaulted that night or at some other time but they do lead me to conclude that the allegations failed to meet the more likely than not standard,” she said.
Judges approved on the U.S High Court are offered lifetime positions in a bid to unburden them of having to make particular rulings based on political pressures they may instead bow to if they were seeking re-election. Mr Kavanaugh will take the seat of retired Justice Anthony Kennedy – a swing voter who often cast the deciding opinion on many of the nine-judge court’s recent rulings.
Hours before the undecided senators indicated their backing, the US Senate narrowly advanced President Donald Trump’s nominee to a final vote by voting to strictly limit debate on the issue.
“The facts presented do not mean that Professor Ford was not sexually assaulted that night or at some other time but they do lead me to conclude that the allegations failed to meet the more likely than not standard,” she said