US Senate confirms Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court justice

Sheila Mcguire
October 7, 2018

The ceremony will take place at the court and will allow Kavanaugh to "begin to participate in the work of the Court immediately", a press release stated.

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.

Protesters swarmed Washington, and rushed the steps of the Supreme Court to bang loudly on its bronze doors around the time Kavanaugh was set to be sworn in inside.

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told the Washington Post the protests against Kavanaugh "were a great political gift" for Republicans. Every Democrat except one - senator Joe Manchin voted against him.

After Kavanaugh's name was put forward as a potential nominee for the vacant position on the court, Ford came forward with allegations that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her under the influence of alcohol when they were in high school.

In regards to Kavanaugh and the sexual assault accusations surrounding him, she said that she was glad that boh Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and he were heard and that the FBI investigation was conducted.

After Blasey Ford's story became public, other accusations against Kavanaugh followed, including a claim by Deborah Ramirez, a classmate of Kavanaugh's at Yale College, that Kavanaugh had exposed himself to her at a party in a dorm room there.

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Brett Kavanaugh seems assured of surviving a Supreme Court nomination fight for the ages after two wavering senators said they'd back him despite weeks of shocking accusations, hardball politics and rowdy Capitol protests.

"I have no doubt", Trump said, telling reporters that he had chosen Kavanaugh, in part, because "there's nobody with a squeaky-clean past like Brett Kavanaugh because he is an outstanding person and I'm very honoured to have chosen him".

On September 28, the Senate Judiciary Committee met to vote on Kavanaugh's nomination.

But the saga - fueled by ugly accusations and counter-claims aired at nationally televised hearings, followed by an 11th-hour Federal Bureau of Investigation probe to address the assault allegations - has inflamed political passions.

Kavanaugh will help take the highest US court to the right, perhaps for many years, and his confirmation is a bitter blow to Democrats already chafing at Republican control of the White House and both chambers of the US Congress.

In Washington, President Donald Trump said Saturday that he thought Collins was "incredible" and that she "gave an impassioned, lovely speech".

"I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault and that this trauma has upended her life", said Susan Collins (R-Maine), who gave Kavanaugh his crucial 50th vote. He flashed two thumbs up when the final vote was declared and aides on board applauded.

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Protesters railed against Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in the week leading up to the final vote Saturday. Another 101 protesters were arrested Friday, the U.S. Capitol Police said.

She added that with Supreme Court appointments lasting a lifetime, "Those who seek these seats must meet the highest standards in all respects, at all times".

The two-vote margin of victory made it the closest Supreme Court confirmation vote since 1881 - and by far the most contentious since Clarence Thomas in 1991.

Before the vote, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from NY, urged Americans who were dissatisfied with the confirmation to go to the polls in November and "vote". Conservative judges will have a 5-4 majority in the court over liberal justices. McConnell extolled Kavanaugh as a "superstar, a serious scholar" who is "legendary for his preparation and possesses the qualifications, the temperament and judicial philosophy" to be a brilliant justice.

"The crowd in front of the US Supreme Court is tiny, looks like about 200 people (& most are onlookers) - that wouldn't even fill the first couple of rows of our Kansas Rally, or any of our Rallies for that matter!"

"Judge Kavanaugh was entitled to an up-or-down vote".

In a twist, Murkowski voted "present" Saturday as a courtesy to Republican Kavanaugh supporter Steve Daines, who was to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding in Montana.

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Kavanaugh, in an opinion piece published this week in The Wall Street Journal, said he views his role as a judge as that of "an umpire - a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no political party, litigant or policy".

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