Following a 51 to 49 vote that saw one Republican and one Democrat cross party lines, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is all but confirmed to be the next justice on the highest court in the U.S.
Following lengthy hearings and an week-long FBI investigation over sexual misconduct allegations, Kavanaugh received critical swing votes from three Senators who were on-the-fence for nominating him.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), said they'd vote "yes" tomorrow on Kavanaugh's confirmation.
The vote is set for 4:52 p.m. tomorrow.
Before the announcement was made, the spotlight was placed firmly on the four Senators who were undecided on Kavanaugh. Many on the right feared that a flip-flop from any of these Senators could prove fatal to Kavanaugh's future as a Supreme Court Justice.
Those fears were quickly put to rest, as Sen. Flake and Sen. Collins confirmed that they would vote for Kavanaugh tomorrow.
Speaking to reporters outside the Capitol, Flake double-down on his initial "yes" vote, saying he would vote for Kavanaugh tomorrow "unless something big changed."
Following Flake's announcement, all eyes turned to Sen. Susan Collins. Although she claimed that the FBI investigation was "very thorough," some thought she could still change her mind. Holding the fate of Kavanaugh's career in her hand, Collins delivered the coup de grâce, giving a riveting speech in the Senate Chamber.
She began her lengthy speech by tearing into the hyper-politicized nomination process, calling it a "caricature of a gutter-level political campaign."
She also distanced herself in the speech from the partisan cloud hanging over Kavanaugh.
"I've never considered the president's identity or party when evaluating Supreme Court nominations," she said, noting that she had voted for nominees appointed by presidents of both major parties."
Collins continued, discussing the controversial Roe v. Wade law. The moderate senator from Maine, who is pro-choice, told Senators that Kavanaugh assured that he viewed Roe v. Wade — the perennially controversial abortion ruling — as "settled law."
Collins also took time in her speech Friday to discuss the sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh, including an in-depth evaluation of the evidence and the witnesses who came forward to testify for and against the judge.
"Every person, man or woman, who makes a charge of sexual assault deserves to be heard and treated with respect," she said. "The #MeToo movement is real. It matters. It is needed, and long overdue."
While being fair to Christine Blasey Ford, Collins rejected another accusation made by Julie Swetnick, who alleged in a bombshell declaration that Kavanaugh and others were involved in spiking girls' drinks in the early 1980s to make it easier for them to be raped.
"That such an allegation can find its way into the Supreme Court confirmation process is a stark reminder about why the presumption of innocence is so ingrained" in U.S. institutions, Collins said.
In the final moments of her speech, Collins laid to rest any doubts in her vote tomorrow, saying: "Mr. President, I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh."
Following her speech, Democrats received more bad news, with Sen. Joe Manchin confirming that he would also vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation.
The West Virginia Senator, a Democrat who was the final deciding vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation, said in a statement that he posted to Twitter that he would vote to confirm Kavanaugh.