Senate Confirms Kavanaugh, Jerking Supreme Court To The Right

Geraldine Edwards
October 9, 2018

A sharply divided Senate - reflecting a deeply divided nation - voted nearly entirely along party lines Saturday afternoon to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In today's Senate vote on the Kavanaugh confirmation, Collins and Flake voted yes, while Murkowski voted to withdraw her "no" vote, a move she made to soften her decision to oppose the nomination.

She acknowledged the anguish of the protesters who interrupted the historic Senate vote, telling reporters afterwards that "I was closing my eyes and praying".

Brett Kavanaugh's path toward the Supreme Court has been repeatedly dogged by protesters against his nomination, some of whom showed up Saturday at the Senate's vote to confirm him.

Swing-vote Democrat Joe Manchen of West Virginia voted in favor of Kavanaugh, while swing-vote Republican Senators Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of ME also voted in his favor. Vice President Mike Pence presided over the roll call, his potential tie-breaking vote unnecessary.

The Senate vote ratified Trump's second Supreme Court pick in as many years, cementing one of his central campaign promises - and handing him a huge political win one month before November's critical midterm elections.

Kavanaugh's appointment to US Supreme Court was caught in controversy as Dr Christine Ford, a psychology professor from Palo Alto University came forward with allegations of sexual assault against him.

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Trump stood by Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge with a history of advancing Republican causes, and this week mocked Ford's account of what she says was a drunken attack on her by Kavanaugh when they were teenagers.

Ford's claims led to a Senate hearing where both she and the judge testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee. and a brief follow-up FBI investigation authorized by the Prez.

He also took indirect aim at the women who have accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, praising the "incredible Republican senators for refusing to back down in the face of the Democrats' shameless campaign of political and personal destruction".

While many Republicans said they were satisfied with the FBI probe, Democrats and Blasey Ford's lawyers called the investigation insufficient. The Republican Party now controls the US Senate.

His nomination and subsequent confirmation have provoked widespread and furious protests from women across the United States and the wider world, at a time when the Me Too movement is more prominent in our society than ever before.

Hours later, Kavanaugh, his family by his side, was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts and retired Justice Anthony Kennedy.

"Judge Kavanaugh is a mainstream jurist with a clear record of applying the law as written, consistent with the Constitution". Republicans hold 51 Senate seats, while Democrats and two independents aligned with them hold the remaining 49.

Senate set to vote on Kavanaugh confirmation Saturday
Christine Blasey Ford that Judge Kavanaugh groped her and attempted to rape her when he was drunk at a high school party. Deeply colouring the day's events was a burning resentment by partisans on both sides, on and off the Senate floor.

Lisa Murkowski, saying that Alaskans will "never forgive" her for voting against Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court. The vote came the day after a fascinating and horrifying testimonies by both Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford before the committee. The judge has vehemently denied the allegations.

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.

Amid tighter-than-usual security, hundreds of protesters against Kavanaugh assembled on the grounds of the Capitol and at the Supreme Court. Chants of "shame" could be heard throughout the vote.

"They managed to deliver the only thing we had not been able to figure out how to do, which is to get our folks fired up", McConnell said.

Republican Senator Deb Fischer described Kavanaugh as "one of the most thoughtful, pre-eminent judges in our nation".

The office of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley went on the offensive by releasing statements this week meant to discredit Ford.

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