Sens. Roberts, Moran vote to advance Kavanaugh nomination

photo by: Senate TV via AP

In this image from video provided by Senate TV, the Senate Chamber is shown during a procedural vote on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, Friday morning, Oct. 5, 2018 at the Capitol in Washington.

Story updated at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5:

TOPEKA – Both U.S. senators from Kansas voted Friday to advance the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, both Republicans, were part of the 51-49 majority that voted in favor of ending debate on the nomination and sending it to a final vote, which is expected Saturday.

If confirmed, Kavanaugh is expected to tip the ideological balance on the Supreme Court in favor of conservatives. That could have implications on a broad range of issues, most notably abortion rights.

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But his nomination was clouded by accusations that he sexually assaulted women and was a heavy drinker in high school and college, allegations that he strongly denied.

Those allegations prompted a number of senators to request a “supplemental” FBI background check to determine if there was corroborating evidence, which President Donald Trump ordered last week. A confidential report on the results of that investigation was delivered to the White House and senators on Thursday.

Roberts, an early supporter of Kavanaugh, issued a statement late Thursday saying he had reviewed the FBI report and that it did not sway his opinion.

He did, however, lash out at Senate Democrats for their conduct during the confirmation process, as he did previously following testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee from Kavanaugh and one of his accusers, psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford.

“The conduct of the minority in bringing unmerited destruction upon Dr. Blasey Ford, Judge Kavanaugh and their families is unprecedented,” Roberts said in the statement. “We also now have the daunting task of restoring the threads of comity in the Senate.”

Moran also commented on the FBI report in a Twitter post Thursday evening, saying he saw no reason to withdraw his support for Kavanaugh.

“No witness interviewed by the FBI corroborated the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh. And there was no new information or evidence provided in the report that would change my earlier decision to vote for Judge Kavanaugh,” Moran said in the tweet.


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