Brett Kavanaugh sworn in as Supreme Court justice

Adele Scalia

Kavanaugh fought back hard, denying the accusations in angry and tearful testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that was viewed live on television by around 20 million people.

The outcome had remained in doubt, however, after one Republican, Lisa Murkowski, defied her party and voted against moving ahead.

Adding to the day's drama, women protesters in the Senate gallery shouting, "Shame on you!" briefly interrupted the confirmation vote.

The vote gave Trump his second appointee to the court, tilting it further to the right and pleasing conservative voters who might have revolted against GOP leaders had Kavanaugh's nomination flopped. As of Friday night, she appears to be the only Republican who will vote against the judge.

Collins said she felt some Democrats wanted to "use" Ford, and that "really saddens me".

Eight Gonzaga law school professors are among the more than 2,400 signatories to a letter to the U.S. Senate asking the body not to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The leadership will gauge how to handle it based on Friday's cloture vote.

Flake voted yes on the cloture vote earlier Friday morning to advance the process forward and had praised the FBI investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh as "thorough" on Thursday.

The US President targeted Christine Blasey Ford's inability to remember details of the alleged 1982 incident. Democrats belittled the bureau's findings, saying agents constrained by the White House hadn't reached out to numerous other people with potentially important information.

The debate sparked smouldering resentment by partisans on both sides, on and off the Senate floor.

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The group of about 150 who somehow got around the newly-erected barricade were among about 2,000 protesters - a lot of them women - outside the building where senators were to vote mid-afternoon.

The vote caps a contest fought against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement and President Donald Trump's unyielding support of his Supreme Court nominee.

On the Senate floor, lawmakers' comments underscored the lingering bitterness. But as soon as Pence motioned to proceed with the vote, protesters began yelling It started with a few voices; one person could be heard yelling, "Where's my representation?"

A large crowd has gathered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to protest Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.

On the other hand, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer accused Kavanaugh of being skeptical of abortion rights and executive accountability. That reflected Democrats' lasting umbrage over Republicans' 2016 refusal to even consider Merrick Garland, President Obama's nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia. The Senate Judiciary Committee says the Federal Bureau of Investigation also interviewed two alleged eyewitnesses to the incident named by Ramirez and one of her college friends.

The lone Republican to oppose the nomination was Sen. Those who signed the letter said Kavanaugh was "repeatedly aggressive" in his remarks, was "discourteous to senators" and "exhibited a lack of commitment to judicious inquiry".

Fellow amusing woman Ellen DeGeneres expressed the same sentiments, focusing on Christine Blasey Ford's bravery for coming forward with her story of being sexually assaulted in high school by a man she believed to be Kavanaugh.

The confirmation follows weeks of discord over Kavanaugh's nomination after Christine Blasey Ford's accusations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh were made public.

Two women have now accused Mr Kavanaugh of sexual assault when he younger.

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