Senate committee vote on Kavanaugh scheduled for Friday

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Judiciary Committee announced Tuesday it has scheduled a vote for Friday on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.

The committee vote is being set for the day after Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford are to testify about her allegation he sexually assaulted her when they were teens. That public hearing is set for Thursday.

The committee scheduled the vote as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday he was moving forward with Kavanaugh's nomination.

Kavanaugh has denied Ford's claim and that of another woman who has come forward with an allegation from his time at Yale.

The committee will be voting on whether to recommend Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate.

Senators were told to be prepared for a rare weekend session and McConnell said he was confident Kavanugh would be confirmed.

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray says President Donald Trump is sending the wrong message by diminishing the account of a woman who's accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct while both were students at Yale.

Trump says Deborah Ramirez acknowledges being drunk and having gaps in her memory, casting doubt on her account.

Murray asked, "How many women have heard that before? How many women have kept their experiences quiet because they knew they would hear that?"

Kavanaugh has denied Ramirez's accusation.

The Washington state senator was elected in 1992, a year after explosive hearings involving then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Murray says Thomas's accuser, Anita Hill, was not treated fairly.

She says, "I have been very, very focused on making sure that this time around, 27 years later, this Senate acts appropriately."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he's confident Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed to the Supreme Court.

McConnell told reporters Tuesday the Senate is "moving forward" on the nomination.

The GOP leader says he's "confident we're going win."

Pressed if he had the 50 votes needed for Kavanaugh amid sexual assault allegations from the judge's time as a teenager, the Kentucky Republican indicated he did.

McConnell says he's confident Kavanaugh "will be confirmed in the very near future."