Accusing Democrats of a "disservice to victims of sexual violence," U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., voted to advance the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court Friday morning.
The procedural vote passed 51-49, with one Democrat voting in favor and one Republican voting against. Mississippi's other Republican senator, Roger Wicker, also voted in favor. The Senate set a final vote on Saturday to confirm the embattled nominee.
The vote advancing does not mean the Senate will confirm Kavanaugh. After announcing her vote to move forward, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she will announce her decision on a final vote at 2 p.m. central; Sen. Joe Manchin, the one Democrat to vote for cloture, is also yet to announce a final decision.
Hyde-Smith blasted Democrats for an "unnecessarily ugly" process, but said the cloture vote was "easy" for her.
"The excellent impression Judge Kavanaugh made when we met only grew stronger after I reviewed his record, and followed a confirmation process that can only be described as unnecessarily ugly," Hyde-Smith said in a statement after the vote. "The FBI's supplemental background investigation only reaffirmed my earlier judgment that Brett Kavanaugh is imminently qualified to serve on the Supreme Court."
A Secret, Hidden FBI Report
Kavanaugh faces multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. Last week, Christine Blasey Ford testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a party when she was 15 and he was 17. Another woman, Deborah Ramirez, alleged that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party in college.
A vote had been set for last week, but was delayed after one Republican senator demanded an FBI investigation into the claims. The FBI spoke to Ramirez but did not interview Ford, Kavanaugh, or dozens of others former classmates who claimed to have evidence to corroborate the women's claims. Republicans