Some 164 people were arrested, most for demonstrating on the Capitol steps, 14 for disrupting the Senate's roll call vote.
Even before the lurid sexual assault charges surfaced, Democrats in the Republican-controlled Senate were fighting hard to stop Kavanaugh, saying his conservative judicial philosophy could result in rolling back abortion rights, gay rights and protections for immigrants.
The first lady is wrapping up a four-country tour of Africa.
After Ford's allegations, Democrats and their allies became engaged as seldom before, though there were obvious echoes of Thomas' combative confirmation over the sexual harassment accusations of Anita Hill, who worked for him at two federal agencies.
Ford privately shared her story with the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen.
Collins told a rapt Senate that she does not believe that sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh rise to a level to "fairly prevent" him from serving on the high court.
Kavanaugh has had his record and character constantly scrutinized and attacked by Democrats, media figures, and activists since President Donald Trump nominated him on July 9.
Koegler identified himself as a close friend of Ford and her husband, saying he has known them for more than five years and had coached their son's baseball team. Trump also spoke with Vice President Pence, Sen.
The vote on confirming Kavanaugh as an associate justice will begin at roughly 3:30 p.m., and senators have been advised to be in their seats by the time the historic roll call begins.
Senate Republicans, except for Lisa Murkowski, have stood by him in a move that could resonate, particularly with women voters, in the November 6 elections to determine control of the Senate and House of Representatives. Kavanaugh's nomination as a replacement for retiring justice Anthony Kennedy was controversial from the start - but the initial focus was exclusively on the conservative views held by the married father of two. At one point in the hearing, Kavanaugh blamed a Clinton-revenge conspiracy for the accusations against him. "The fact that the FBI did not interview either Christine or Judge Kavanaugh, by itself, renders absurd any assertion that the investigation was 'thorough'". Lisa Murkowski turned against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh quietly, uttering a single word: "No".
In a twist, Murkowski said she will state her opposition but vote "present" as a courtesy to Kavanaugh supporter Sen. In 1881, Justice Stanley Matthews prevailed in a vote of 24-23.
The FBI submitted its report to lawmakers on Thursday, which paved the way for a procedural vote on Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court the next day.
As the Senate tried to recover from its charged atmosphere, Murkowski's move offered a moment of civility.
Their support makes Saturday's vote to confirm Kavanaugh an apparent formality after a battle that riveted the nation for almost a month.
Manchin released his statement declaring his support for Kavanaugh shortly after Collins finished her speech - and after Republicans had already secured enough votes to confirm the judge, meaning that Manchin would not be the deciding vote.
After the vote, the president called Kavanaugh to congratulate him, the White House said in a statement. "Great decision. I very much appreciate those 50 great votes and I think he's going to go down as a totally brilliant Supreme Court Justice for many years".
"We will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, tempting though it may be", she said.
Friday's announcements of support by Republican Susan Collins of ME and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia made the final confirmation vote a formality, though still an emotional one. "We have a lot of work to do".