Sens. Ted Cruz, John Cornyn vote to advance Brett Kavanaugh nomination

By Abby Livingston

The U.S. Senate — including the two senators from Texas — voted to move forward on the controversial U.S. Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz were among 51 senators who backed Kavanaugh's nomination in a procedural vote Friday morning, with 49 senators voting to block the nomination. All of the votes to confirm Kavanaugh were Republican except for the yes vote from U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the only Republican to vote no.

A final vote to confirm Kavanaugh will take place in the coming days.

Cornyn, in particular, was a fierce advocate on Kavanaugh's behalf. The senior senator tweeted Friday morning, without citing a specific news source, that many of the anti-Kavanaugh protestors at the Capitol on Thursday were "reportedly" paid.

Cruz, who is up for re-election, told CBS News in an interview that aired Friday morning, that Kavanaugh "absolutely" had the temperament to serve on the high court.

The Kavanaugh nomination has rocked Washington. Accused of sexual assault during his high school days, Kavanaugh launched a fierce defense at a hearing last week. Retiring U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, forced the Senate to request an FBI investigation into the matter.

The FBI came back with a report that appeared to assuage the concerns of Flake. But Democrats and supporters of one of Kavanaugh's accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, charge that the White House actively hindered the investigation into Kavanaugh's background.

Kavanaugh's defense before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week ultimately consolidated GOP support behind nomination.

This article originally appeared at The Texas Tribune.

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