Brett Kavanaugh: Key US senators back embattled Supreme Court choice

MSNBC reporter Garrett Haake on Friday seemed to be over and done with Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins' "will-she-or-won't-she" schtick, as Americans waited for her 3:00 pm announcement about how she would vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The announcements by Republican Susan Collins of ME and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia came after weeks of shocking accusations, hardball politics and rowdy Capitol protests.

Addressing his angry testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he branded the allegations against him an "orchestrated political hit", he wrote: "I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said".

But that 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.

Two other women also made accusations of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh in the 1980s.

Democrats hope that the roll call, exactly a month from elections in which House and Senate control are in play, will do the opposite, prompting infuriated women and liberals to oust Republicans.

Rice has a home in ME, a source said, and her family has ties to the state: Her mother, an education policy expert who was instrumental in the creation of the Pell Grant, was born there.

As she spoke, several hundred anti-Kavanaugh demonstrators chanted on the lawn between the Capitol and the Supreme Court.

A fuming Kavanaugh strode into the same packed hearing room that afternoon and said he, too, was "100 percent" certain the incident had not occurred.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a moderate from Alaska, voted against advancing Kavanaugh in Friday morning's procedural vote.

Following the vote, President Trump said that he is "very proud" that the Senate has cleared the way to hold a vote on Kavanaugh.

When she finished, Collins received applause from the roughly two dozen GOP senators present.

The Maine senator is under enormous pressure to vote for Kavanaugh, and she has indicated that she is leaning in that direction.

"My good friend and colleague Greg Gianforte has come to save the day", said Daines Friday in a statement. The position of national security advisor doesn't require Senate confirmation.

But even if a majority of the House votes to impeach Kavanaugh, two-thirds of the Senate would need to vote to remove him, making the likelihood of his ousting from the court very small.

That would mark an anti-climactic finale to a clash fought against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement and Mr Trump's unyielding support of the nominee, and opposing forces that left Mr Kavanaugh's fate in doubt for weeks.

With the vote of the Vice President Mike pence always there in case of a tie, the confirmation of Kavanaugh as the next Judge of the Supreme Court became a foregone conclusion by Friday night.

But he said he believes Kavanaugh will "determine cases based on the legal findings before him".

Will Panthers DB Eric Reid protest during national anthem?
Kavanaugh poised to win confirmation to the Supreme Court Saturday afternoon