WATCH LIVE: Senate Republicans plowing ahead on Kavanaugh choice


WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh (all times local):

2:25 p.m.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham says it’s going to fall to him to lay out to President Donald Trump why Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation vote has been delayed.

He spoke after Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake said he would vote to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate only if the final confirmation vote is delayed for an FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations.

Christine Blasey Ford says Kavanaugh attacked her in a locked room at a high school house party. Kavanaugh denies that.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Friday to advance the nomination to the full Senate, but Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley noted the timing on Senate vote was up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Graham, of South Carolina, is a Trump ally who is on the panel. Graham told reporters after the committee vote that somebody is going to have to explain the delay to Trump. Graham added: “I guess that’ll be my job.”


2:18 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he’ll leave it to the Senate to determine when it will vote on his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But Trump is expressing optimism, saying: “I’m sure it will all be very good.”

Trump told reporters Friday during a meeting with the President of Chile that undecided Republican senators “have to do what they think is right” and “be comfortable with themselves” on the Kavanaugh vote.

But he said he hadn’t thought at all about a replacement, “Not even a little bit.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Friday along party lines to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Senate floor.

But Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona said at the last minute that he could not promise to vote for Kavanaugh on the Senate floor and called for a delay of up to a week for a further investigation of sexual assault accusations.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.


1:57 p.m.

Judiciary Committee votes to send Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination to full Senate.


1:55 p.m.

GOP’s Flake says it would be ‘proper’ to delay a Senate floor vote on Kavanaugh for a week.


10:20 a.m.

Several Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have walked out of a hearing on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

Kamala Harris of California, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island left after the GOP chairman set a vote on the nomination for 1:30 p.m. Friday.

That was approved by a committee vote. Democrats say Republicans are rushing the confirmation.

During that vote, Hirono yelled: “”I strongly object! What a railroad job! No, no, NO.”


10 a.m.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote at 1:30 p.m. on whether to recommend Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate.

The chairman, Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, announced the vote as the committee began its meeting.

Kavanaugh has just picked up a key vote of support from a committee Republican, Arizona’s Jeff Flake.

Republicans have slim 11-10 majority on the committee. With Flake’s support, Kavanaugh’s nomination is expected to clear the committee and go to the full Senate.

The Senate could begin taking procedural votes over the weekend ahead of a final confirmation vote early next week.


9:55 a.m.

Emotions in the Capitol are running high over the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

Soon after Republican Sen. Jeff Flake announced he’d vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, he was cornered by two women as he got into an elevator to head to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Through tears, the women implored him to change his mind about his Kavanaugh vote.

The women were seen in TV footage blocking the Arizona senator from closing the elevator door. One woman begged Flake to look him in the eye. She said: “Look at me and tell me that it doesn’t matter what happened to me.”

Another woman said Flake was allowing someone who “violated someone” to serve on the Supreme Court. Both women cried as they spoke to him.

Eventually a member of Flake’s staff said they needed to go and the doors closed. A committee confirmation vote is set for 1:30 p.m.

Kavanaugh has denied that he sexually assaulted a woman when they were teenagers. The committee on Thursday heard emotional and sometimes combative testimony from both Kavanaugh and his accuser.


9:40 a.m.

It’ll be a “yes” vote on Brett Kavanaugh from one of the most closely watched Republican senators who’s determining the fate of the Supreme Court nominee.

The announcement from Arizona’s Jeff Flake that he’ll vote to confirm Kavanaugh virtually ensures that the nomination will advance to the full Senate from the Judiciary Committee.

The committee is expected to vote Friday – and if the nomination advances to the full Senate, then senators could begin voting as early as Saturday.

Flake says he wishes he could express the confidence in Kavanaugh that some of his other GOP colleagues have. But Flakes says in a statement he still has “much doubt” after the committee’s explosive hearing Thursday.

Kavanaugh has denied Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that he sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.

Flake says that without evidence to corroborate Ford’s story, he believes “our system of justice affords a presumption of innocence.”


9:10 a.m.

A Democratic senator who’s facing a tough re-election race has come out against President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

Bill Nelson of Florida tweets that he’ll vote “no” if the nomination comes to the full Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote on Kavanaugh on Friday.

Nelson’s decision comes a day after Kavanaugh told the committee that he didn’t sexually assault a woman when they were teenagers. The accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, says she’s “100 percent” certain that he did.

Nelson hadn’t taken a public position on the nomination before his announcement Friday. Nelson had never met with Kavanaugh even though his office said they tried several times to schedule a meeting.

The senator is in a tight re-election race with Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, who has previously come out in support of Kavanaugh. Scott’s campaign hasn’t responded to questions about Ford’s testimony.

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