Judge Brett Kavanaugh confirmed to be next U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionCollins I vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionCollins I vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh

Lisa Murkowski as the Senate prepares to begin its final debate on judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.

A petition to have Kavanaugh impeached was started immediately after he was voted onto the Supreme Court by the group Free Speech for People.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley offered up some words of praise for protesters ahead of the vote.

This march is part of a nationwide protest coming one day after Republican Susan Collins of ME and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced they would back the appeals court judge.

A campaign pushing for President Donald Trump to be impeached has received a big boost from the controversy plaguing his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The two-vote margin is one of the narrowest ever for a Supreme Court nominee. But on the other hand, Murkowski's bombshell gives Collins some cover should she vote "no".

Wednesday night, the FBI delivered its supplemental background investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh to the Capitol.

A sharply partisan battle over Kavanaugh became an intense political drama when university professor Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were in high school in Maryland in 1982. She told reporters on Friday that Kavanaugh is "a good man" but maybe "not the right man for the court at this time".

The group of about 150 who somehow got around the newly-erected barricade were among about 2,000 protesters - majority women - outside the building where senators were to vote mid-afternoon. Vice President Mike Pence presided, his potential tie-breaking vote unnecessary.

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Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is estimated to have 51 senators who will vote to confirm Kavanaugh.

The climactic 50-48 roll call capped a fight that seized the national conversation after claims emerged that he had sexually assaulted women three decades ago - allegations he emphatically denied.

In explaining her vote to reporters, Murkowski said on Friday that she had not come to a decision on how she would vote until walking into the Senate floor that morning. Joe Manchin, who voted in favor of moving Kavanaugh's nomination to a floor vote.

After the vote, the president called Kavanaugh to congratulate him, the White House said in a statement. He shot to the forefront of what is likely the most contentious confirmation fight in American history when, as a Senate Judiciary Committee member, he refused to signal his support for Kavanaugh as allegations against him multiplied.

"Our Supreme Court process has been in steady decline for over 30 years".

McConnell, who stalled Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the court in his final year in office and for whom the new conservative majority represents a defining achievement, predicted that Democratic tactics during confirmation battle would electrify Republican voters in November.

When Trump nominated Kavanaugh in July, Democrats leapt to oppose him, saying that past statements and opinions showed he'd be a threat to the Roe v. Wade case that assured the right to abortion. They said he also seemed ready to knock down President Barack Obama's health care law and to rule for Trump if federal authorities probing his 2016 campaign's alleged connections to Russian Federation try to pursue him in court.

"I have reservations about this vote given the serious accusations against Judge Kavanaugh and the temperament he displayed in the hearing", Manchin said.

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