Published: Mon, October 08, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Senate confirms Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court amid protests

Senate confirms Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court amid protests

With the confirmed support of him and Collins, the likely final Senate vote is 51-49.

In a sign of the political pressure the Alaska Republican faces, a variety of activists and constituents showed up at her Washington, DC, Senate office throughout Friday morning before and after the vote.

Republicans control the Senate by a meager 51-49 margin, and announcements of support Friday from Republicans Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of ME, along with Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, locked in the needed votes.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who helped push through Kavanaugh's nomination despite moments where it looked like it could fail, effusively praised Kavanaugh.

Truth be told, Collins isn't really a centrist: she has a very conservative voting record and voted to confirm Trump's 2017 Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

Kay Coles James, president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, called the vote "a victory for liberty in America" and called Kavanaugh "a good man and good jurist".

Rice tweeted a little later that she was "not making any announcements" but was "deeply disappointed" by Collins' vote.

Wednesday night, the FBI delivered its supplemental background investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh to the Capitol.

Murkowski said she was displeased with the nomination process and felt that disrespect to Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, had gotten out of hand. "But it just may be that in my view he's not the right man for the court at this time", she said Friday after the vote.

Large groups of protesters gathered outside the Capitol building and across the street at the Supreme Court ahead of the final vote on Saturday.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who has repeatedly battled Trump and will retire in January, said he would vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation "unless something big changes". Vice President Mike Pence presided, his potential tie-breaking vote unnecessary.

Senators passed a procedural cloture motion, which is the vote to end debating, Friday morning at 10:52 am.

Kavanaugh's confirmation leaves the Senate traumatized with Republicans and Democrats as estranged as at any time in recent memory, reflecting the cavernous divides in the country itself during a presidency that has ignited rare political passions.

Despite the letter, the Senate voted 51-49 to move forward with Kavanaugh on Friday to a final vote on his confirmation.

A little more than two hours later, Kavauangh was sworn in during a private ceremony as protesters stood on the court's steps.

Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegations and said that his reputation and his family have been "permanently destroyed by vicious an false additional accusations".

The lone Republican to oppose the nomination was Sen. And he has reason for a "yes" vote: Manchin, who voted for Gorsuch's confirmation, is up for reelection in a state that Trump won in 2016. They said he also seemed ready to knock down President Barack Obama's health care law and to rule for Trump if federal authorities probing his 2016 campaign's connections to Russian Federation initiate legal action.

Yet Kavanaugh's pathway to confirmation seemed unfettered until Ford and two other women emerged with sexual misconduct allegations from the 1980s. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, repeated his contention that the investigation did not find any evidence for the allegations.

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