Brett Kavanaugh Has Been Confirmed To The Supreme Court

07 October, 2018, 09:02 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Brett Kavanaugh

A deeply divided U.S. Senate on Saturday confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, as Republicans dismissed accusations of sexual misconduct against the conservative judge and delivered a major victory to President Donald Trump.

A procedural vote Friday made Saturday's confirmation a foregone conclusion.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described Kavanaugh as a "superstar".

But the Kavanaugh spectacle, fueled by extraordinary accusations and counter-claims in nationally televised hearings, and tense battles over an 11th-hour FBI investigation to address the assault allegations, has inflamed political passions. Prominent protesters, including Amy Schumer and Emily Ratajkowski, were arrested with almost 300 others last week on Capitol Hill.

Kavanaugh's once near-certain confirmation to the lifelong appointment on the constitutional court is on a knife-edge after bitter debate over sexual assault allegations dating to his school and university days. Outbursts continued throughout the voting, causing Vice President Mike Pence, the Senate's presiding officer, to suspend the voting several times to instruct the sergeant-at-arms of the Senate to restore order in the gallery.

In the end, 49 Republicans and one Democrat voted to endorse a nominee that President Donald Trump praised as a "fine man and great intellect". Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, were key undecided senators who were closely watched for how they would vote. The confirmation process revealed a sense of entitlement, a lack of truthfulness, political motivations and poor temperament that in my view, and in the view of former Justice John Paul Stevens, disqualified Judge Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court.

In a floor speech later on Friday, Murkowski expressed sympathy for both Ford and Kavanaugh.

At the request of Democrats and a Republican senator the Federal Bureau of Investigation was called in to look into the allegations - but was unable to corroborate their stories. Some argued that Ford's contemporaries couldn't corroborate her story, despite Ford securing affidavits from four people who said she previously told them about Kavanaugh's alleged attack.

Collins - a moderate Republican from ME - said Kavanaugh was entitled to the "presumption of innocence" as the allegations against him were not substantiated with corroborating evidence. "I do believe that she was assaulted".

Moments after Collins finished talking, the only remaining undeclared lawmaker, Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, said he, too, would vote "yes" in the showdown confirmation roll call expected Saturday afternoon.

Democrats are favored to win back the House and are competing in dozens of congressional districts, including two in Kansas, in their effort to flip at least 23 seats for the majority.

There were loud protests, both in Washington and in other cities across the United States as the vote went ahead. The vote was apparently interrupted repeatedly, the New York Times reports, including by one woman who yelled, "This is a stain on American history!" Authorities took the rare step of putting up low metal fences around the Capitol, keeping the public some distance from the building.

After roughly an hour, Trump grew looser, riffing on the North Korea talks, the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem, Kanye West and the National Football League.

One month from November's midterm elections, Trump told his supporters that after the Kavanaugh confirmation fight, "we have been energized". But they were not immediately visible in the area around the legislature.

Trump has slammed the demonstrators and accused them of being "paid" by Democratic mega-donor George Soros to "make senators look bad".

Justice Stanley Matthews was confirmed to the high court with a slimmer margin than Kavanaugh's in 1881, when the vote was 24-23.



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