WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Donald Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court appeared all but certain to win approval from the Senate after two key lawmakers endorsed him on Friday (Oct 5).
Senator Susan Collins - a maverick member of Trump's Republican party - and her Democrat counterpart Joe Manchin said allegations that Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted a fellow teenager nearly four decades ago were unproven.
"I do not believe these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court," Collins told lawmakers in a speech from the floor of the chamber.
"The presumption of innocence and fairness do bear on my thinking and I cannot abandon them," she added, calling Kavanaugh "an exemplary public servant."
Manchin, who is battling to retain his seat at upcoming midterm polls in a state that voted heavily for Trump in the presidential election, said he had promised constituents to cast his vote "based on the facts before me".
"Based on all the information I have available to me... I have found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist who will follow the Constitution and determine cases based on the legal findings before him," Manchin said in a statement.
The pair were the last senators to declare their intentions ahead of a final vote which is now expected to take place on Saturday afternoon.