Flake voted earlier on Friday to advance Kavanaugh's nomination to a final vote in the Senate.
While Collins acknowledged that Blasey Ford's testimony was honest, painful and compelling, and that the accuser is a sexual assault survivor, she added that "I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court".
Protesters gathered outside the Capitol to protest against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, even as his supporters in the Senate appeared to have locked up the votes for his confirmation Saturday.
In explaining her vote to reporters, Murkowski said on Friday that she had not come to a decision on how she would vote until walking into the Senate floor that morning.
There was huge relief at the White House where Trump watched a vote that takes him one final step closer to becoming the Republican president who enshrined a conservative majority on the Supreme Court - an achievement that will elevate him in history.
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Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY called the fight "a sorry epilogue to the brazen theft of Justice Scalia's seat".
"There are a minimum of 7 additional people, known to the White House, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Federal Bureau of Investigation who knew about the assault prior to the nomination who were not interviewed", Koegler wrote. Justice Anthony Kennedy, whom Kavanaugh would replace, retired this year after decades of being a swing vote on the court. "It just may be that in my view, he's not the right man for the court at this time". Most significantly, following Ford's appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, a former long-time boyfriend of Ford's provided the committee a statement claiming that years ago he had witnessed Ford help her close friend, Monica L. McLean, "prepare for a potential polygraph exam".
About an hour after Collins' announcement, Jen Psaki, communication director at the Obama White House, asked in a tweet "who wants to run for Senate in ME? there will be an army of supporters with you". Dick Durbin on Friday said his confirmation "would shake the confidence of millions of Americans and the integrity of our Supreme Court".
Senate Republicans projected optimism on Thursday after reviewing the results of an FBI investigation into allegations against the nominee that they say indicate there is no corroboration for accusations he has faced. Kavanaugh's behavior during the hearing, such as calling the accusations an "orchestrated political hit" and interrupting senators questioning him, fell short of what is required of those who serve on the Supreme Court, the letter asserts. At one point, she and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talked one-on-one.
In a procedural vote Friday that handed Republicans an initial victory, senators voted 51-49 to limit debate, defeating Democratic efforts to scuttle the nomination with endless delays.
"I believe that Brett Kavanaugh is a good man. But we try to avoid controversy, so we're very guarded about raising topics that we think might create hostility in the room", she said.
When Trump nominated Kavanaugh in July, Democrats leapt to oppose him, saying that past statements and opinions showed he'd be a threat to the Roe v. Wade case that assured the right to abortion.