Demonstrators Gather At U.S. Capitol While Senate Confirms Kavanaugh

09 October, 2018, 05:02 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Watch live: Final Senate vote on Kavanaugh nomination

The bitterness over the confirmation process of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court continued Saturday afternoon after the U.S. Senate voted 50-48 to seat Kavanaugh, who was sworn in later in the day. Senate Republicans tightly controlled the disclosure process for Kavanaugh's public record, limiting the scope of documents released and scheduling hearings and a final vote before the National Archives could release the entirety of the Kavanaugh documents.

During the confirmation vote, protesters tried unsuccessfully to interrupt it, eventually being removed from the Senate gallery by Capitol Police, who made dozens of arrests today. One Republican, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, voted "present" although she said she opposed the nomination.

The path to Kavanaugh's confirmation cleared on Friday when two wavering Republicans, Susan Collins of ME and Jeff Flake of Arizona, said they would vote for Kavanaugh after concluding that Ford's allegations, voiced by her in an emotional hearing last week, could not be corroborated.

Vice President Mike Pence, who was presiding over the vote, called on the sergeant-at-arms to restore order in the gallery, and the women were escorted out.

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".

Two other women also came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh's confirmation comes a little less than three weeks after Christine Blasey Ford publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in the 1980s. What she did was to come forward and testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee and agree to cooperate with any investigation by the FBI and that's what she sought to do here, ' Katz said.

"Very, very good", Trump said.

The Senate vote takes the highest US court down a more conservative path, perhaps for many years, and is a bitter blow to Democrats already chafing at Republican control of the White House and both chambers of the US Congress. Kavanaugh was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts and the man he's replacing, retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, as fellow Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan looked on - two conservatives and two liberals.

"He is a strong, principled, qualified jurist who will defend liberty and adhere to the Constitution as written", he said.




Without weighing in on the sexual assault allegations that Ford leveled against Kavanaugh, Mrs. Trump says victims of "any kind of abuse or violence" must be helped.

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.

Friday morning began with uncertainty over whether Senate Republicans had the support necessary to push the nomination across the finish line, but the day ended with confirmation all but assured after Republican Sen.

Repeatedly during the Senate debate, Republicans accused Democrats of staging a "smear" campaign against Kavanaugh to prevent a conservative becoming a Supreme Court justice.

The judge, who is a darling of the Republican and libertarian organisation the Federalist Society, has been the subject of a host of sexual assault allegations since being nominated by United States president Donald Trump.

Trump tweeted that the demonstrators included female Kavanaugh supporters who were "gathering all over Capitol Hill". That rare procedural maneuver left Kavanaugh with the same two-vote margin he'd have had if Murkowski and Daines had both voted.

Republican Jewish Coalition chairman called Kavanaugh an "outstanding judge" and bemoaned what he described as a "toxic" atmosphere in Washington.

"Since right from the moment we announced, radical Democrats launched a disgraceful campaign to resist, obstruct, delay, demolish and destroy, right from the beginning", Trump said.

They also challenged the veracity of some of his Judiciary Committee testimony.

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