US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh narrowly makes it through, heads for final vote

Updated: Oct 06, 2018, 12:21 IST | Agencies | Washington

The bitterly divided Senate voted 51-49 to end the debate on nomination of Kavanaugh, 53, who has been nominated by Trump on the nine-member bench of the Supreme Court

A protester in front of the Trump Tower in New York. Pic/AFP
A protester in front of the Trump Tower in New York. Pic/AFP

President Donald Trump's embattled nominee to the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh on Friday cleared a major procedural hurdle on the Senate floor, making him just one step away from being confirmed, amid controversy over sexual abuse allegations against him.

The bitterly divided Senate voted 51-49 to end the debate on nomination of Kavanaugh, 53, who has been nominated by Trump on the nine-member bench of the Supreme Court. If confirmed by the Senate, Kavanaugh would replace Justice Anthony Kennedy who announced his retirement early this year.

Now that Kavanaugh has cleared the procedural vote, his confirmation, political observers believe would be easy, unless a major last-minute hiccup pops up. The Senate Judiciary Committee had confirmed his nomination on party lines, after which his nomination moved to the Senate floor. But before the Senate could move forward, President Trump ordered a time-bound FBI investigation into Kavanaugh. The FBI submitted its investigation early this week, which was then sent to the Senate for the lawmakers to have a look at it and have an informed decision. The White House said Kavanaugh came clear in the probe.

Trump 'very proud'
President Donald Trump said Friday he is "very proud" that the Senate has cleared the way to hold a vote on Kavanaugh. "Very proud of the U.S. Senate for voting 'YES' to advance the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh!" Trump said in a tweet.

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