Crowdfunding site crashes as visitors flock to support Susan Collins' future opponent

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That previous vote was to limit debate, meaning Kavanaugh's nomination will get a vote probably Saturday.

A final vote could come Saturday on President Donald Trump's embattled nominee, who if approved would seal a conservative majority on the nine-seat court for decades.

Senators could still change their support in the coming day, but continued support from Collins, Flake and Manchin would push Kavanaugh's confirmation through. Manchin faces a competitive re-election race next month in a state Trump carried in 2016 by 42 percentage points. Both parties are hoping the bitter struggle will energize their most loyal voters to stream to the polls in less than five weeks, when GOP control of the House and perhaps the Senate is in play. He said Democrats' treatment of Kavanaugh has been "nothing short of monstrous". "We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy".

"An FBI investigation that did not include interviews of Dr Ford and Judge Kavanaugh is not a meaningful investigation in any sense of the word", they said in a statement quoted in USA media.

In an unexpected move on the eve of Friday's vote, retired supreme court justice John Paul Stevens said Kavanaugh's strikingly partisan tone while denying the allegations against him before the Senate judiciary committee last week should disqualify him.

He told the Senate he "found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist" but later faced shouts of "shame" from protesters. It also means that in the unlikely event one of the "yea" votes on cloture turns into a "nay" on confirmation, the Kavanaugh cause has one vote to spare.

"I believe that Judge Kavanaugh is a good man". He's widely known as a fair, smart, and independent judge, and he has the qualifications and experience necessary to ably serve on the Supreme Court.

Theresa May se burla de su escaso talento para bailar
Su falta de mayoría en el Parlamento, junto a una postura más dura de Bruselas, ha subido las apuestas a medida que se acerca el final de las negociaciones.

Though, when asked how sure she was that Kavanaugh was the boy who attacked her, Dr. Ford said "100%".

His promotion to the Supreme Court will also stand as a demoralizing defeat for Democrats who battled hard to block the 53-year-old judge at all costs.

There are now six female senators in the GOP: Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, Iowa's Joni Ernst, Maine's Susan Collins, Mississippi's Cindy Hyde-Smith, Nebrask's Deb Fischer and West Virginia's Shelley Moore Capito.

In a floor speech later on Friday, Murkowski expressed sympathy for both Ford and Kavanaugh. Mr Kavanaugh would actually only need a 50-50 vote, as that would force a tie-breaker in his favour from Vice-President Mike Pence.

But his ascent to the Supreme Court was thrown into doubt last week after university research psychologist Christine Blasey Ford testified that he had sexually assaulted her at a Washington-area party in the early 1980s. "Is this too unfair a burden, to place on somebody that is dealing with the worst, the most horrific allegations that go to your integrity, they go to everything that you are", she said in her floor speech.

Collins then, in stark contrast to the weeks of controversy over uncorroborated accusations about Kavanaugh's behavior as a teenager, dug for over 20 minutes into Kavanaugh's 12-year record as a federal judge and his judicial philosophy as gleaned from extensive Senate Judiciary Committee testimony and her own meetings with the nominee.

In her announcement on October 13, 2017, in Rockport, she said she would stay in the US Senate because she wanted "to continue to play a key role".

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