Kavanaugh faces crucial vote, White House eyes GOP senators

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faced a crucial vote as a Senate panel decides whether to move his nomination on to the full Senate a day after he adamantly denied sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford, who insisted she's "100 per cent" certain he did.
Kavanaugh faces crucial vote, White House eyes GOP senators
Brett Kavanaugh

Washington

Meanwhile, there were signs the remarkable testimony before the panel — in which Kavanaugh angrily declared his innocence and Ford calmly recounting the moment in which she says he attacked her — had registered negatively with two organizations whose support Kavanaugh had earlier received.
The American Bar Association urged the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate to delay the vote until the FBI could do a full background check on the assault claims — something President Donald Trump has refused to order.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed that Friday, telling reporters that Kavanaugh has already "been through six separate background investigations by the FBI."
Late Thursday, the magazine of the Jesuit religious order in the United States withdrew its endorsement of Kavanaugh, saying the nomination was no longer in the interests of the country and "should be withdrawn."
"If Senate Republicans proceed with his nomination, they will be prioritising policy aims over a woman's report of an assault," the America magazine editors wrote.
"Were he to be confirmed without this allegation being firmly disproved, it would hang over his future decisions on the Supreme Court for decades and further divide the country."
The magazine's reversal is significant given Kavanaugh has repeatedly cited his Roman Catholic faith and his years as a student at the Jesuit-run Georgetown Prep school in Maryland.
The White House said it was engaging with wavering Republican senators, but provided few details, as Trump publicly stood by his nominee.
"His testimony was powerful, honest and riveting," he tweeted late Thursday.
"The Senate must vote!" Thursday's testimony appears to have only sharpened the partisan divide over Trump's nominee.
Republicans praised Ford's bravery in coming forward, but many of them said her account won't affect their support for Kavanaugh.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, where the initial vote on Kavanaugh will be held, is narrowly split with an 11-10 Republican majority. Democrats are expected to oppose the nominee. But even if the panel deadlocks on whether to recommend the judge for confirmation, the full Senate could start taking procedural votes Saturday on Kavanaugh, setting up a final vote as soon as Tuesday.

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