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Senators Say Yes To Kavanaugh


The U.S. Senate is expected to vote today on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh currently has the apparent support of 51 senators, enough to confirm him for the lifetime position. Yesterday, protesters filled the halls of the Capitol and all eyes were on a few senators who hadn't reached their final judgment.


JEFF FLAKE: It's a difficult decision for everybody - it really is.

SIMON: Republican Jeff Flake of Arizona, who helped bring about the week long delay in the confirmation process to allow for additional investigation by the FBI into accusations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh. Fellow Republicans reluctantly agreed to the delay, then hailed the FBI secret report as an exoneration. Democrats called the investigation incomplete and unfair.


CHUCK SCHUMER: Let the confirmation process for Judge Kavanaugh be recorded as a sorry epilogue to the brazen theft of Justice Scalia's seat.

SIMON: That was Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, who helped lead the fight against the nominee.

No matter - a pivotal vote by Senator Flake turned the tide, he announced that barring some major new development he'll vote to confirm Kavanaugh today. So will Senator Susan Collins of Maine. She took to the Senate floor for more than 40 minutes to explain why she'll vote for him, even though she found Christine Blasey Ford to be believable.


SUSAN COLLINS: I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault and that this trauma has upended her life. Nevertheless, the four witnesses said she named could not corroborate any of the events of that evening gathering where she says the assault occurred.


JOE MANCHIN: I believe Dr. Ford.

SIMON: That's West Virginia's Joe Manchin. He's the only Senate Democrat to support the nominee, despite the chorus of protesters urging him to oppose him.


MANCHIN: Something happened to Dr. Ford. I don't believe that the facts show that it was Brett Kavanaugh, but I believe something happened.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Do you think it was someone else who did it?

MANCHIN: I think something happened to her.

[POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: We incorrectly identify Sen. Chuck Schumer as the Senate majority leader. He is the minority leader.] Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Corrected: October 8, 2018 at 11:00 PM CDT
We incorrectly identify Sen. Chuck Schumer as the Senate majority leader. He is the minority leader.
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