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Protesters gather at Capitol ahead of Senate vote on Kavanaugh

09 October 2018

Acrimonious to the end, the battle featured a climactic roll call that was interrupted several times by protesters in the Senate Gallery before Capitol Police removed them. Vice President Mike Pence presided over the roll call, his potential tie-breaking vote unnecessary. Trump's aggressive defense of Kavanaugh - and more recent attacks against his female accuser - have resonated particularly with white working-class men, who are a shrinking voting bloc nationally but remain a critical segment of Trump's political base. The FBI investigated the accusations and found no corroborating evidence, clearing the way for today's Senate vote.

The rare procedural manoeuvre left Mr Kavanaugh with the same two-vote margin he would have had if Ms Murkowski and Mr Daines had both voted.

The upper house is split 51-49 in favour of the Republicans and the vote was largely along party lines. "Women will not forget this".

The dispute over Kavanaugh has added fuel to campaigning for the midterm elections in November when Democrats will try to take control of Congress from the Republicans.

Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor, accused Kavanaugh of pinning her to a bed and groping her drunkenly when they were at a party as teenagers. Two other women also came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh. "Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation is truly a low point for our great nation". "Big day for America!" he tweeted.

Kavanaugh, who sat on the D.C Circuit Court of Appeals, was President Donald J. Trump's second appointment to the Supreme Court.

"This is how I met Brett Kavanaugh, the boy who sexually assaulted me".

The vote caps a contest fought against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement and President Donald Trump's unyielding support of his Supreme Court nominee.

In the hours before the vote, police arrested demonstrators who had broken through barriers around the Capitol and tried to climb the building's steps.

The crowds outside the court have been chanting "Vote them out!" And they said Kavanaugh's record and fuming testimony at a now-famous Senate Judiciary Committee hearing showed he lacked the fairness, temperament and even honesty to become a justice. But she also said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had found no corroborating evidence from witnesses whose names Ford had provided.

Manchin used an emailed statement to announce his support for Kavanaugh moments after Collins finished talking.

Trump is visiting Topeka for a Saturday evening fundraiser and rally for Kris Kobach, the controversial secretary of state running for Kansas governor, and Steve Watkins, the GOP nominee in a key congressional race there. "I will move on that and I think that all the victims, they need - we need to help all the victims no matter what kind of abuse they had, but I am against any kind of abuse or violence", the first lady said.

The investigation was granted by Republican leaders, and on October 5, Senators voted 51-49 to end the debate and go forward with the confirmation vote.

Matt Brooks, director of the same organization, said the contentious vote underlined the importance of upcoming midterm elections, which could see the Senate gain a Democratic majority. According to FiveThirtyEight, in the 800 cases that Roberts has heard in his tenure on the court, he has only cast the deciding vote resulting in a liberal leaning decision 15 times.

Protesters gather at Capitol ahead of Senate vote on Kavanaugh