- The Washington Times - Friday, October 5, 2018

Sen. Joe Manchin, the lone Democrat who remains undecided on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, went back to read the FBI background reports again Friday morning and told reporters he still hasn’t made up his mind.

He said he would probably not make up his mind until he heads to the floor to cast his vote.

A key filibuster vote loomed in little more than an hour and the West Virginian’s vote could be critical for Republicans, depending on how their own undecided lawmakers break.

Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have also been reviewing the FBI information and trying to figure out whether to back Judge Kavanaugh.

Yet another Republican, Sen. Ben Sasse, did a final review of the FBI materials Friday morning and announced he’s backing Judge Kavanaugh — though he expressed anger at what’s played out in recent weeks.

“This broken and politicized process has further undermined public trust. Washington embarrassed itself for the last month, but it is clear that most Americans are yearning for more than tribal blood feuds,” the Nebraska Republican said.

With Mr. Sasse’s support, the votes of 48 Republicans are believed to be behind the judge, and there are 48 members of the Democratic Caucus who have signaled opposition.

Republicans need at least two of the four public undecideds to back the judge, which would allow Vice President Mike Pence to cast the tie-breaking vote in support.

If the GOP defeats the filibuster Friday, it would set up a final confirmation vote Saturday.

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