US Senate confirms Judge Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court
Oct 07 2018 by Johnnie Parsons
One Hollywood celebrity cheering the Kavanaugh confirmation was actor James Woods, back on Twitter after being suspended last month.
Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the constitutional oath and retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, who Kavanaugh is replacing, will administer the judicial oath in a private ceremony.
Trump and the Republicans said the probe supported their contention that Ford's allegations were "uncorroborated", but Democrats - and Ford - said the investigation was inadequate.
Trump watched the confirmation vote while flying on Air Force One to a political rally in Kansas, viewing the vote on large-screen television tuned to Fox News in a wood-paneled cabin.
While Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Kavanaugh's confirmation was a shining moment for the GOP heading into next month's pivotal elections, GOP Gov. John Kasich of OH predicted "a good year" for Democrats and said he wonders about "the soul of our country" in the long term after the tumultuous hearings.
During the Senate final voting on Saturday, hundreds of protesters were demonstrating on Capitol Hill, chanting "November is coming" and "We believe survivors".
Kavanaugh's nomination blew up into a personal and political drama when university professor Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexually assaulting her in the upstairs bedroom of a home in a wealthy suburb of Washington in 1982. Trump also spoke with Vice President Pence, Sen.
The bitter duel between Republicans and Democrats over Kavanaugh is now likely to be prolonged as a motivating issue in the midterm elections in four weeks and will trigger recriminations and political reverberations that endure for years to come.
"It's energized our base going into the election in a way we had not been able to figure out how to do prior to this", McConnell said.
McConnell predicted that the House and Senate will soon wrap up talks over a bill creating a new process for congressional employees to make sexual harassment and assault allegations against lawmakers.
Pointing to television footage of protesters outside the Capitol, he said their numbers paled in comparison to the thousands of supporters awaiting him in Kansas. "I'm glad that Dr. Ford was heard; I'm glad that Judge Kavanaugh was heard. We didn't go on a search and destroy mission", he said.
In the end, Republicans were able to use their monopoly on political power on Capitol Hill and the White House to muscle through the confirmation, which was almost derailed by Christine Blasey Ford's allegations that the judge assaulted her when they were teenagers in the 1980s. Steve Daines, who would have backed Mr Kavanaugh, will be at his daughter's wedding.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Collins is a "top priority" when he was asked Saturday if she could be targeted by Democrats in 2020.
Brett Kavanaugh swears in at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. Mr Flake has been a frequent critic of Mr Trump but said he would vote yes, barring any major changes in evidence. Trump and other Republicans said their base is more motivated than it was earlier in the year, and that will help them keep the House and Senate.
Two Republican waverers, Susan Collins and Jeff Flake, have finally made a decision to back the judge. But Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY forecast gains for his party instead: "Change must come from where change in America always begins: the ballot box".
Demonstrators began shouting "I do not consent" as the roll call on Kavanaugh began.
Noting that only one Supreme Court justice has ever been impeached, Coons said the Senate needed to show leadership and seek to heal the country.
The announcement of Collins' voting intentions also fueled liberal activists' hopes to use the issue to unseat the ME senator in the 2020 election, despite being among the top 10 most popular senators in America.