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President Trump's choice of Brett Kavanaugh is already the most contentious nomination to the Supreme Court since Clarence Thomas won a 52-48 confirmation vote in 1991.

Thomas' was the closest vote confirming a justice since the 1800s, and it followed a stormy hearing and an adverse vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The process nearly foundered on accusations of sexual harassment and racial prejudice.

But the Senate in that day settled down, and Thomas has served on the court for 27 years – a nearly always silent anchor on the court's right.

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And NPR's Tim Mak is covering this story and has been listening along with us. What did you hear there, Tim?

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President Trump says the fight over his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is about more than just the nation's highest court. He says it's about how America treats the accused.

Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual misconduct decades ago, allegations he adamantly denies.

Trump tweeted Thursday that "Due Process, Fairness and Common Sense are now on trial!"

Central Park Five case

But Trump has not always been such a staunch defender of due process.

Updated at 8:41 p.m. ET

Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court cleared a key procedural hurdle in the Senate on Friday, and his confirmation now seems all but certain, after a key swing vote, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, declared her support in a speech on the Senate floor.

Moments after Collins completed her remarks, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced in a statement that he too will support the nomination when it comes up for a final vote.

That final vote is expected as soon as Saturday.

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Today an initial vote tells us if Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh gets to 50.

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What do you remember about this week, 25 years ago? October 1993. Many of us were watching Seinfeld and the first Roseanne or listening to a Mariah Carey cassette on our Walkman. And one of the top movies that year starred Bill Murray as a TV weatherman, who relives the same day, Groundhog Day, over and over and over again.

"Bill Murray's character [is] getting caught in a time loop," says Carl Davis, research director for the non-partisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

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Protests in Washington this week suggest the passion surrounding today's vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

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First lady Melania Trump has been touring the African continent. She's visiting four countries. She's mostly been focusing on conservation and children and families. NPR's Eyder Peralta caught up with the tour in Nairobi, Kenya.

The New York Attorney General's Office is urging a state court not to dismiss its lawsuit against President Trump's charitable foundation, saying the foundation has repeatedly violated state and federal laws.

Attorney General Barbara Underwood said the Donald J. Trump Foundation "was a shell corporation that functioned as a checkbook from which the business entity known as the Trump Organization made payments."

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Sam McCann is a man on a mission: to see Republican Governor Bruce Rauner end his reign in 2019. He's taking that head on, by running for the state's highest office himself, under the self-established Conservative Party banner.

Updated at 6:48 p.m. ET

With Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination speeding toward a Senate confirmation vote, demonstrators descended on Washington, D.C., to declare their urgent opposition to his bid.

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Updated at 3:18 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is accusing China of trying to interfere in the U.S. political process in an effort to undermine the president and his agenda in the upcoming midterm elections.

In a speech to the Hudson Institute on Thursday, Vice President Pence amplified the charge leveled by President Trump last week. Pence said China has used covert actors, front groups and propaganda in an attempt to sway U.S. public opinion.

With guest host Todd Zwilich.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, the White House announced that the FBI completed its investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Today, senators and a few staff members will review the material.

From The New York Times:

Last week, Facebook announced the most serious security breach in its history, in which unknown hackers were able to log onto the accounts of nearly 50 million Facebook users.

FBI special agents spoke with nine people as they investigated allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the White House said on Thursday.

Administration officials declined to detail who had spoken with investigators, but some of the people involved, or their lawyers, have talked on their own about whether or not they have given interviews to the FBI.

Updated at 10:12 p.m. ET

Judge Brett Kavanaugh issued a mea culpa of sorts on the eve of a key Senate vote that could determine whether or not he reaches the Supreme Court, admitting in an op-ed that his testimony last week forcefully defending himself from sexual assault allegations "might have been too emotional at times."

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