Senators voted 51-49 to limit debate, defeating Democratic efforts to scuttle the nomination with endless delays.
President Donald Trump is praising the Senate for pushing Kavanaugh past a key procedural hurdle.
The vote came one day after Senate Republicans asserted that an Federal Bureau of Investigation report did not corroborate allegations the judge committed sexual assault.
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Collins added she will announce her ultimate decision on Kavanaugh's confirmation at 3 p.m. ET Friday. Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, as well as Democratic Sen.
Vice President Mike Pence planned to be available Saturday in case his tie-breaking vote was needed. For the procedural vote, Flake, Collins, and Manchin voted yes, while Murkowski voted no Friday morning.
Senator Flake's journey to defying Trump on U.S. Supreme Court nominee
Dolphin told the Times through her lawyer, "I think Brett must have me confused with someone else, because I never kissed him". The New York State Bar Association says the FBI should investigate allegations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) told reporters that the Senate Judiciary Committee's inability to attract Republican women might be caused by its heavy workload, a remark the panel's chairman tried to retract a few minutes later.
Comedian Amy Schumer and model Emily Ratajkowski were among 302 people held for demonstrating against the nominee. Democrats will assume Democrats are telling the truth; Republicans will assume the same of other Republicans.
Collins and Murkowski are the only GOP senators who support abortion rights, a crucial issue in the Kavanaugh debate. Collins and a group of Senate Republicans reportedly had lunch with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. As the lone Republican to vote against cloture, it would be very odd for her to then vote for his confirmation. The pair was surrounded by colleagues from both parties after the vote. In a letter to the Senate, the American Bar Association said it was reevaluating Kavanaugh, despite having previously supported his nomination. Democrats were unconvinced by the bureau's findings, saying it was an incomplete investigation because several witnesses offered by Kavanaugh's accusers, among others, were not pursued.
Tensions were also reflected by the thousands of boisterous anti-Kavanaugh demonstrators who flowed around the Capitol complex for days, confronting senators and even reported near their homes. "Brett Kavanaugh continues, when you speak to anyone who knows him besides perhaps those two, a man of sterling character".
Democrats, meanwhile, solidified their caucus's opposition to Kavanaugh, an appellate judge whose elevation to the Supreme Court could cement a decidedly conservative majority for decades.
The Senate is expected to vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation Saturday. The bureau specifically probed the accusations of Christine Blasey Ford, who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when he was a student at Georgetown Prep, and Deborah Ramirez, who claims he exposed himself to her while they were both students at Yale.
Kavanaugh's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in response to allegations of sexual assault left a partisan gulf, with him on the Republican side.
A fuming Kavanaugh strode into the same packed hearing room and said he was "100 percent" certain the incident had not occurred.