All 10 Democrats on the judiciary committee are pushing for a postponement.
Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the hearing will "give these recent allegations a full airing". All of the Democrats on the judiciary committee sent a letter to Grassley earlier in the day asking to delay the hearing until the FBI conducted a thorough investigation. Those notes did not specifically mention Kavanaugh but said she claimed she was attacked by students "from an elitist boys' school" who later gained prominence. He's an outstanding intellect, an outstanding judge respected by everybody, never had even a little blemish on his record.
He described as "ridiculous" the suggestion that Kavanaugh might withdraw his candidacy. "I think that's going to [tick] off an very bad lot of people, including women, who are more prone to vote in this day and age than men are". "If they delay a little bit just to make sure everybody's happy - they want to be happy".
Asked if she wanted the Senate Judiciary Committee to delay its planned vote this week on Kavanaugh's nomination, Collins was noncommittal.
And Kavanaugh has flatly denied the allegation. "Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making the accusation until she identified herself yesterday".
Republican senators have expressed concern over the allegation that Mr Kavanaugh groped Dr Ford and tried to take her clothes off at a party when she was 15 and he was 17.
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Kavanaugh's supporters have questioned why the allegations surfaced only after he underwent four days of questioning in early September.
"This is something that should have been brought up long before this". On Sunday, the Washington Post published an interview with Ford, who made a decision to go public after months of soul searching. She said there are still a lot of questions, and "we need to know what happened".
If confirmed, Kavanaugh is expected to tip the scale in favour of conservatives, potentially further threatening women's access to abortion, restrictions on presidential powers and efforts to curb gun ownership.
Republicans hold a slim 11-10 advantage on the Judiciary Committee. Also, Ford communicated her version of events to her lawmaker prior to Trump naming Kavanaugh as his choice for Kennedy's seat - information that eventually made its way to US senator Diane Feinstein. Judge Kavanaugh and the White House both stand by that statement, ' White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement on Monday morning.
Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, told reporters she would like the chance to observe Dr Ford to decide the credibility of her account. Dianne Feinstein, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"She is a person of integrity", Leahy said of Feinstein.