WASHINGTON, D.C. -- UPDATE 3:05PM SATURDAY
Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump's second nominee to the Supreme Court, was confirmed to the court on Saturday with a Senate vote largely divided along party lines. The vote occurred shortly before 3 p.m. CT.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump's second nominee to the Supreme Court, is expected to be confirmed to the court on Saturday with a Senate vote largely divided along party lines. The vote is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. Central Time.
The confirmation process has been bitterly partisan, and disputes were exacerbated by allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh that began surfacing in September. In response to the allegations, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school. Kavanaugh denies the allegation, while she has stood by her testimony.
The committee paused the nomination process for a week so the FBI could investigate. Afterwards, Republicans declared that the FBI had not found any corroborating witnesses, while Democrats complained the FBI didn't look hard or long enough.
When is the Senate vote on Kavanaugh?
Senators voted to advance Kavanaugh's confirmation Friday morning by a 51-49 margin.
The final Senate vote is likely to occur at between 2:30 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. CT, with an expected 50-48 margin in favor of confirming Kavanaugh to the highest court.
Trump praises Collins' speech before departing for rally
Mr. Trump spoke to reporters on the White House lawn as he left for a rally in Topeka, Kansas, this evening. He said that he was "really looking forward to the vote," and reiterated that he believed Kavanaugh would be a "great" justice.
He also praised Collins' speech on the Senate floor Friday when she announced her support for Kavanaugh.
"I thought that Susan was incredible yesterday," he said. "She gave an impassioned, beautiful speech yesterday. And that was from the heart. I have great respect for Susan Collins."
McConnell says process hasn't "irreparably damaged"
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke to Fox News shortly before the vote on the Senate floor. He said that while the confirmation process had been "nasty," he didn't believe it would have lasting effects on future Supreme Court nominations.
"Nothing has been irreparably damaged," McConnell said. He also decried the "mob" of protesters that had infiltrated the Capitol. "The good news is, the mob didn't win," he said.
McConnell said that he was retrospectively happy people had opposed Kavanaugh so vehemently, because it galvanized Republicans.
"They played right into our hands, in retrospect," McConnell said about Democrats.
THIS ARTICLE WILL BE UPDATED AS MORE INFORMATION DEVELOPS.