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Kavanaugh's Prospects Just Got Much Brighter

GOP's Jeff Flake will back him, making approval likely in Senate committee Friday afternoon
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2018 9:13 AM CDT
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday.   (Win McNamee/Pool Photo via AP)

(Newser) – After Thursday's high drama, the Senate Judiciary Committee looks poised to advance Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination to the full Senate. The vote is scheduled for 1:30pm Eastern, reports NPR. Going into the day, the main suspense had been whether Republican Jeff Flake of Arizona would side with Democrats in voting against Kavanaugh, but he announced his support for President Trump's pick before the panel convened, reports the Washington Post. “I wish that I could express the confidence that some of my colleagues have conveyed about what either did or did not happen in the early 1980s," said Flake in a statement. “What I do know is that our system of justice affords a presumption of innocence to the accused, absent corroborating evidence."

Several Democrats walked out of the panel's meeting Friday morning, reports the AP, though top Democrat Dianne Feinstein was among those who stayed. Assuming the committee OKs Kavanaugh's nomination later in the afternoon, it would move on to the full Senate, with a final vote possible as early as Tuesday, reports the AP. Kavanaugh's prospects there remain uncertain, with key moderate Republicans such as Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski undecided, notes Politico. Another senator to watch is Democrat Joe Manchin, up for re-election in red-state West Virginia. (Read more Brett Kavanaugh stories.)

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