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US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh clears crucial test vote in Senate

The bitterly divided Senate voted 51-49 to end the debate on nomination of Kavanaugh, 53, who has been nominated by Trump on the nine-member bench of the Supreme Court

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Brett Kavanaugh
Brett Kavanaugh

Donald Trump's embattled nominee to the on Friday cleared a major procedural hurdle on the floor, making him just one step away from being confirmed, amid controversy over sexual abuse allegations against him.

The bitterly divided voted 51-49 to end the debate on nomination of Kavanaugh, 53, who has been nominated by Trump on the nine-member bench of the

If confirmed by the Senate, Kavanaugh would replace Justice who announced his retirement early this year.

In the US judicial system, a of the is confirmed by the for life.

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, Kavanaugh was embroiled in a major controversy when a 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 which was watched live by millions of people across the world.

The Senate confirmed his nomination on party lines, after which his nomination moved to the Senate floor.

But before the Senate could move forward, 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 said Kavanaugh came clear in the investigation.

Following the vote, 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 Brett Kavanaugh!" Trump tweeted.

First Published: Fri, October 05 2018. 22:15 IST
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