(L-R) Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) walk together as they arrive to a closed-door lunch meeting of GOP Senators at the U.S. Capitol, October 3, 2018 in Washington, DC. During a procedural vote on whether to end the debate about Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, Collins voted yes and Murkowski voted no. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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The U.S. Senate voted Friday to end the debate on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. A vote on whether or not to approve his nomination will take place on Saturday.
Here's what you need to know
The motion passed by a slim 51 to 49.
This vote was a procedural vote, on whether the Senate should end the debate on Kavanaugh's nomination and move forward to a final vote.
Notably, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted "no." Murkowski was one of three senators currently considered to be swing votes. The others are Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) had been considered a swing vote, before Senate Republicans granted him a delay so that the FBI could conduct a further investigation into allegations of past sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh. That investigation ended on Thursday.
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) had been considered a swing vote, until Thursday when she declared that she would vote against Kavanaugh's nomination. She also voted no during this procedural vote.
According to CNN, Collins will announce how she will vote on Kavanaugh during a speech on the floor of the Senate at 3 p.m. ET Friday. Collins told reporters before the vote that she would be voting to proceed, but that she would "announce my intentions on how to vote later today."
What can we expect Saturday?
Manchin voted "aye" on Friday. He has indicated, according to the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler in a now-deleted tweet, that his final vote on Kavanaugh's nomination would be the same as his vote on Friday. If he holds true to this, even if Collins votes no, Republicans would have 50 votes for Kavanaugh (assuming that Flake votes to confirm him). At that point, Vice President Mike Pence could step in and cast a tie-breaker vote to push Kavanaugh's nomination through.
To date, only 10 U.S. presidents have had Supreme Court nominees rejected by the Senate: Washington, Madison, Tyler, Polk, Buchanan, Grant, Cleveland (twice), Hoover, Nixon (twice), and Reagan.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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