The Latest: Kavanaugh nomination clears key Senate hurdle

Courtesy: Tom William/AP

The Senate has pushed Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court past a key procedural hurdle.

Posted: Oct 5, 2018 8:08 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has pushed Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court past a key procedural hurdle.

The chamber voted 51-49 to move forward with President Donald Trump's nominee.

A final vote on Kavanaugh's nomination could occur over the weekend.

There's no guarantee that the senators who supported moving forward will back Kavanaugh on the final vote. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who voted to advance Kavanaugh, said she will announce her decision on confirmation later Friday. Also voting to move the nomination forward was Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who had been undecided. But Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski voted against moving the nomination forward.

Kavanaugh's nomination has been imperiled by accusations of sexual misconduct. He forcefully denied the allegations.

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10:35 a.m.

The Senate has begun a procedural vote on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Several senators have not said how they will vote: Republicans Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Kavanaugh's nomination will need 51 votes to advance. If there's a tie, Vice President Pence is expected to cast the decisive vote in Kavanaugh's favor.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has pushed to get Kavanaugh confirmed this week, said he was "feeling good" ahead of the vote.

Senators have been wrestling with the findings of an FBI background investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh. He forcefully denied the allegations.

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