Kavanaugh nomination clears key Senate hurdle

New questions emerge over FBI investigation of Kavanaugh

WASHINGTON – The Senate has pushed Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court past a key procedural hurdle.

The chamber voted 51-49 to move forward with President Donald Trump’s nominee.

A final vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination could occur over the weekend.

There’s no guarantee that the senators who supported moving forward will back Kavanaugh on the final vote. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who voted to advance Kavanaugh, said she will announce her decision on confirmation later Friday. Also voting to move the nomination forward was Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who had been undecided. But Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski voted against moving the nomination forward.

Kavanaugh’s nomination has been imperiled by accusations of sexual misconduct. He forcefully denied the allegations.