After days of speculation, controversy, and protest, Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court has advanced and a final vote on confirmation could take place as early as Saturday.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) was the only Republican to vote "no" in a procedural vote Friday while two other swing GOP Senators, Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Susan Collins (R-ME), and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia all voted "yes."
The 51-49 vote will allow the Senate to debate over the next 30 hours whether Kavanaugh should ultimately be confirmed. Their choices Friday are not necessarily indicative of how they'll vote in the final tally ー Sen. Collins is expected to announce where she'll fall in that confirmation vote when she speaks on the Senate floor at 3 pm ET.
The procedural vote was set up after the FBI closed an investigation into sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh on Wednesday and made the report available to Senators Thursday morning. The probe reportedly found no corroboration of the accusations made by Prof. Christine Blasey Ford, though Democrats and Ford's lawyers criticized authorities for not interviewing her, the judge, or potential witnesses.
Following Friday's vote, President Trump tweeted that he was "very proud" of the Senate.