Judge Brett Kavanaugh will get a final Senate floor vote, after enough senators voted to advance his nomination Friday. The final vote was 51 to 49.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, one of four undecided key senators, voted against advancing Kavanaugh in a procedural vote, while Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, voted to advance his nomination. That does not necessarily mean those senators will vote the same way in a final vote, the timing of which has yet to be announced.
The vote comes amid allegations of sexual misconduct and intense protests that have divided the nation. The first floor vote on Kavanaugh Friday took place one day after Republicans and Democrats reviewed the FBI report detailing interviews about allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against the nominee. Republicans can only afford to lose one Republican, if all Democrats vote against Kavanaugh -- but Manchin's support in the first floor vote indicates that might change.
Mr. Trump took to Twitter as soon as the procedural vote was called in Kavanaugh's favor, tweeting, "Very proud of the U.S. Senate for voting "YES" to advance the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh!"
White House spokesman Raj Shah told CBS News' Paula Reid, "We're confident" about getting the votes to confirm the judge to the highest court.
All in all, senators vote 51-49 to advance Kavanaugh's nomination to a final vote. The exact timing for that final vote has yet to be announced.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, sent shockwaves when she voted "no" on whether to advance Kavanaugh to a final vote.
But Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, all voted "yes" on advancing Kavanaugh to a final vote.
Those votes are not definite indicators of which way the senators will go in the final vote. Collins is set to announce her final vote at 3 p.m.
When the vote ended, GOP senators Rob Portman of Ohio and John Cornyn of Texas walked directly over to Murkowski, CBS News' Nancy Cordes reports, and shook her hand. Portman especially is a friend of Kavanaugh's, and has been lobbying the undecided votes on his behalf. Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington, slipped Murkowski a note and walked away. Collins put her arm around Murkowski's shoulder. And Democratic Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota walked up to Murkowski with smiles on their faces.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, speaking from the Senate floor, said Kavanaugh's nomination was against the national interests from its outset, backed by conservative special interest groups.
"The well was poisoned from the outset," Schumer said.
Schumer went on to describe his frustrations with the process. Schumer said that when Republicans claim Democrats are behind delays, they fail to mention they held up the confirmation of Obama-era nominee Merrick Garland.
"I don't blame them. They have a flawed nominee," Schumer said of the Republicans.
Sen. Susan Collins, one of the few remaining undecided votes on Kavanaugh, will announce how she will vote in the final vote in a 3 p.m. floor speech, a source close to the senator tells CBS News' John Nolen.
Collins' vote is being closely watched.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed a motion Wednesday for a cloture vote on Kavanaugh's nomination, essentially setting in motion the procedure and process that would jump start the voting process to confirm the next Supreme Court justice.
By invoking cloture, McConnell is ending debate over changing the Senate Rules in order to hold a vote sometime Friday and a vote by the full Senate on Saturday.Senate rules require one intervening day between filing cloture and taking a procedural vote on cloture. Thursday would be that intervening day.
Final confirmation vote on Kavanaugh would occur 30 hours after the cloture vote.There are up to 30 hours of debate if senators want to use it. It is not assigned to a either party. If Republicans choose not to speak on the floor, Democrats can use all 30 hours if they choose. Both sides would have to agree to yield back a certain amount of time to shorten the debate from 30 hours.
Sen. Ben Sasse, who chided President Trump for appearing to mock Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford this week, announced in a statement that he will indeed vote to confirm Kavanaugh.
"I'm voting for confirmation because of the evidence and Judge Kavanaugh's qualifications," the Republican said in a statement. "After spending more than 150 hours doing my homework, I completed my reading of the FBI's seventh background investigation this morning. This broken and politicized process has further undermined public trust. Washington embarrassed itself for the last month, but it is clear that most Americans are yearning for more than tribal blood feuds."
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin entered the room in the Senate where the FBI report is being housed to look at it one more time. As he arrived, reporters asked him about his vote.
"Probably undecided as I walk through the door," Manchin said. A spokesperson for Manchin suggested that the door he was referring to was the door to the Senate floor, where the full Senate will take a procedural vote on the nomination later this morning.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, told "CBS This Morning," "I've sat through a dozen or more meetings with Joe on the subject. He's kept his own counsel. He's obviously weighing this thing from a personal point of view. He understands the historic impact. I cannot tell you as I stand here how Joe's going to vote."
Different senators have different views on whether the first procedural vote and the vote to confirm should be the same. Sometimes senators vote to move a nomination forward even if they are planning to vote against it in the end. For Manchin, Friday's procedural vote and the confirmation vote are likely to be the same, his aides tell CBS News.
One hour before the cloture vote, the president blasted protesters -- specifically, the "elevator screamers."
Scores of people have protested Kavanaugh's confirmation to the court, and some were detained on Thursday.
But the president could be referencing women who held the elevator open to tell Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, how they said they had been victims of sexual assault.
"The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don't fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love!" Mr. Trump said.
Vie President Mike Pence is in Washington this weekend, in case his vote is needed to break a tie, sources tell CBS News.
Pence, while he has expressed his support for Kavanaugh, has been less vocal in his defense of the nominee than has Mr. Trump. At a rally in Minnesota Thursday night, the president blasted Democrats for obstructing his nominee, although it was Republicans who requested the delay in the vote to allow for the FBI probe. The president also reiterated his defense of Kavanaugh on Twitter.
"The harsh and unfair treatment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh is having an incredible upward impact on voters. The PEOPLE get it far better than the politicians. Most importantly, this great life cannot be ruined by mean & despicable Democrats and totally uncorroborated allegations!" the president tweeted Thursday.
The first floor vote in the Senate is set to take place at 10:30 a.m. It's called a "cloture" vote, which requires a simple majority of senators and simply sets the voting process in motion.
A final vote on Kavanaugh could take place as early as Saturday. But that could be delayed if Republicans don't have an easy majority, since Sen. Steve Daines, a Montana Republican, insists he will attend his daughter's wedding back home.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has the final say on scheduling the vote, pursuant to Senate rules.
Sen. Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican who called for the FBI review in the first place, has yet to say where he stands.
Sen. Susan Collins, the Republican moderate from Maine who said she was carefully reviewing all the information Thursday, hasn't announced her decision.
Nor has Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska who enjoys bipartisan support.
Sen. Joe Manchin, a vulnerable Democrat in West Virginia, the state that voted most decisively for Mr. Trump in 2016, also has yet to say where he will land.