U.S. Supreme Court

Everything was on track. The show was out of the way. It was time to vote.

That's what Republican leadership and those supporting Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court thought — until Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake upended those plans, calling for a "short pause" for a limited, one-week FBI investigation.

Brett Kavanaugh, the president’s nominee to the Supreme Court, said Thursday in his emotional hearing that the accusation of sexual assault he’s facing has ruined his and his family’s life.

Parkland parent Fred Guttenberg, who lost his daughter Jaime in the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, retorted in a tweet later that evening that Kavanaugh was wrong.

Tom Williams / Pool Image via AP

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote at 1:30 p.m. on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination. A full Senate vote on the nomination is expected as early next week. 

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

A raw, emotional scene played out on Capitol Hill on Friday morning, minutes after Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, one of a handful of Republicans expected to decide the fate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, announced he would vote in favor of confirmation.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET Saturday

President Trump has ordered the FBI to conduct a limited "supplemental investigation" into his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, to update the judge's background check, following a deal struck by Senate Republicans to move the nomination forward.

The move comes after Senate Republicans agreed to delay a vote on Kavanaugh's nomination to give the FBI one week to look into the allegation of sexual assault brought against him by Christine Blasey Ford, which the federal appeals court judge denies.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh may take a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court as early as next week, but only after shattering a rule about the confirmation process that had been set in stone for decades.

It was the rule that said you stood by your judicial record but held on tight to your judicial temperament. It was understood you had a party affiliation, but it shouldn't be worn on your sleeve. And above all, you were not to antagonize anyone.

You could call this the latest in a list of Capitol Hill norms to be lost in the era of President Trump.

Across the U.S., people spent the day rapt, watching or listening to the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

The proceedings were emotional throughout, as Ford told the story of the sexual assault that she alleges Kavanaugh made against her when the two were in high school, more than 30 years ago.

As Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, people across the U.S. tuned in to watch her tell the emotional story of her alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavavaugh more than 30 years ago.

Across the country — on the radio, television or the phones they carried — Americans listened.

On airplanes, they watched. And some cried.

They watched on C-SPAN, where some viewers began calling in with their own stories of sexual assault.

Saul Loeb / Pool Image via AP

Updated at 5:47 p.m. ET

Updated at 8:47 p.m. ET

Judge Brett Kavanaugh was defiant and visibly angry as he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday afternoon, rebutting earlier emotional testimony from the woman who has accused him of sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford.

Courtesy

The third woman who came forward Wednesday with allegations of sexual misconduct by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has a Miami connection.

Updated at 7:50 a.m. ET

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with the American public, are hearing, for the first time, on Thursday directly from Christine Blasey Ford, the university professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were both teenagers in high school.

On Thursday, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify on a sexual assault allegation by Christine Blasey Ford, who is also testifying. Read Kavanaugh's opening statement below, submitted to the panel on Wednesday.

Christine Blasey Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school in the early 1980s. On Thursday the psychology professor is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Read her opening statement below.

Updated at 9:24 p.m. ET

During a rare press conference Wednesday, President Trump sent mixed messages about the fate of his embattled Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

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