President Donald Trump's embattled nominee to the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh on Friday cleared a major procedural hurdle on the Senate floor, making him just one step away from being confirmed, amid controversy over sexual abuse allegations against him.
If confirmed by the Senate, Kavanaugh would replace Justice Anthony Kennedy who announced his retirement early this year.
Now that Kavanaugh has cleared the procedural vote, his confirmation, political observers believe would be easy, unless a major last-minute hiccup pops up.
After his scheduled hearing last month, Judge Kavanaugh was embroiled in a major controversy when a professor from California, Christine Blasey Ford, alleged that she was
assaulted by him when they were both teenagers in 1982.
Kavanaugh denied the allegations, but two more women came with different sexual assault allegations against him.
The opposition Democratic lawmakers made it a political issue and joined the first accuser in demanding a FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations.
Both Kavanaugh and the first accuser made a dramatic testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee which was watched live by millions of people across the world.
The Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed his nomination on party lines, after which his nomination moved to the Senate floor.
But before the Senate could move forward, President Trump ordered a time-bound FBI investigation into Kavanaugh. The FBI submitted its investigation early this week, which was then sent to the Senate for the lawmakers to have a look at it and have an informed decision.
The White House said Kavanaugh came clear in the investigation.
Following the vote, President Trump said that he is "very proud" that the Senate has cleared the way to hold a vote on Kavanaugh.
"Very proud of the U.S. Senate for voting 'YES' to advance the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh!" Trump tweeted.