Hundreds protest outside of Supreme Court ahead of Kavanaugh vote

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North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who faces a hard re-election race next month, cited concerns about his "past conduct" and said she felt his heated attacks on Democrats during last week's Judiciary Committee hearing raised questions about his "current temperament, honesty and impartiality".

Under new rules approved a year ago, 50 votes are needed for victory in Friday's procedural vote. The price of locking in a conservative Supreme Court majority for decades may be loosing control of Congress this November.

Responding to criticism from the other side of the aisle, Trump tweeted on Thursday that "this is now the seventh time the FBI has investigated Judge Kavanaugh".

They converged on Capitol Hill and held a rally outside the Supreme Court, chanting: "Kavanaugh has got to go!" Police later threatened to clear a public hallway outside her office in the Dirksen Senate Office Building and physically blocked reporters from approaching Collins as she left the office to return to the Capitol for a vote.

There was another protest in front of Trump Tower in New York City.

The sharply partisan battle became an intense political drama when Prof Blasey Ford and two other women emerged to accuse Judge Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in the 1980s when he was in high school and college. "A vote against Judge Kavanaugh tomorrow will be an endorsement of the mishandling of this confirmation process", Senator Cornyn said during the press conference.

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When I came back, because I came back a few days later than the guys, he did quite well and I think better than the years before.

Mr Kavanaugh, 53, now a judge on the powerful District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, has denied the claims.

Other women have also come forward with allegations against Kavanaugh, including Deborah Ramirez, who told The New Yorker that she remembers Kavanaugh exposing himself to her at a dormitory party.

Six days after Trump reluctantly ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to scrutinize the accusations- which allegedly occurred in the 1980s and Kavanaugh has denied - leading GOP lawmakers briefed on the agency's confidential document all reached the same conclusion: There was no verification of the women's past claims and nothing new.

Democrats complained that the investigation, running just six days after Trump reluctantly ordered it, was shoddy, omitting interviews with numerous potential witnesses.

But several Democrats lit into the process, with Senator Ron Wyden branding it a "whitewash" and Senator Mazie Hirono wincing at Republican claims of comprehensiveness.

"I believe Kavanaugh is part of a Big Old Boys club that is going to protect him no matter what", said Angela Trzepkowski, 55, from Delaware.

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"This is what democracy looks like!" protesters shouted outside the Supreme Court, voicing their opposition to Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the high court but somehow speaking for everyone on every side on a day of passion, chaos and outcome.

"There is no question the Kavanaugh fight has provided a burst of energy to Republican voters at a critical time", said Brian Walsh, a Republican strategist and former staffer for the party's Senate campaign committee. They accused the White House of limiting the FBI's leeway.

Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona said the findings contained "no additional corroborating information".

He said the investigation was thorough, and for the witnesses interviewed "it's a cross between an endoscopy and a colonoscopy".

John Paul Stevens, who served on the Supreme Court from 1975 until 2010, also criticized Kavanaugh's performance. Incumbent Democrats Claire McCaskill in Missouri and Jon Tester in Montana have both said they will vote against Kavanaugh.

My hearing testimony was forceful and passionate. "I might have been too emotional at times", he wrote in the op-ed headlined "I am an Independent, Impartial Judge".

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