Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Brett Kavanaugh confirmed as next Supreme Court justice despite sex assault claims

Sen. Lisa Murkowski a Republican from Alaska explains her decision to oppose the nomination of Kavanaugh Sen. Lisa Murkowski a Republican from Alaska explains her decision to oppose the nomination of Kavanaugh
Lisa Bryan | 07 October, 2018, 09:04

Vice President Mike Pence planned to be available Saturday in case his tie-breaking vote was needed.

The confirmation will mark a major victory for President Donald Trump, who will soon be able to take credit for appointing two conservative justices to the Supreme Court during his relatively brief time in office so far and possibly create a conservative majority on the bench for a generation. Democrats hope that the roll call, exactly a month from elections in which House and Senate control are in play, will prompt infuriated women and liberals to stream to the polls to oust Republicans.

That balanced out the absence without affecting the outcome, and gave Mr. Kavanaugh the same two-vote margin he'd have received had both lawmakers voted.

Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY looked ahead to November, appealing to voters beyond the Senate chamber: "Change must come from where change in America always begins: the ballot box".

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. Every voting Republican backed the 53-year-old conservative judge. Among them were three of the chamber's moderate Republicans, Senators Jeff Flake of Arizona, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat up for re-election in conservative West Virginia. The final vote confirming Justice Kavanaugh is a victory not so much for conservatives, but for all those who still believe in the basic principles of due process and the presumption of innocence.

"It's turned our base on fire", declared Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Gorsuch was confirmed by the Senate with a 54-45 vote months later.

Within minutes, dozens of political and advocacy groups blasted out emailed reactions. "Women will not forget this".

Collins said Christine Blasey Ford's dramatic testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week describing Kavanaugh's alleged 1982 assault on her were "sincere, painful and compelling". Whenever there have been accusations like this in the past those accusations get turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in confidentiality and they get investigated. "Big day for America!" he tweeted.

Democrats furiously accused the GOP of short-circuiting efforts to examine Ford's allegations and of rushing the nomination through while ignoring the changed political dynamics surrounding complaints of misconduct against powerful men ushered in by the #MeToo movement.

They also took issue with the short nature of the investigation and the small number of people who were interviewed.


But that near-certainty did not stop protesters from gathering outside the U.S. Capitol and Supreme Court early Saturday. But protesters overran the barricades and defiantly claimed the Capitol steps. Hundreds of other demonstrators watched from behind barricades. And she says numerous demonstrators, regardless of their opinions about the Supreme Court nominee, share a common sentiment: They don't feel their voices are being heard.

U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) also said Friday he will likely vote for Kavanaugh, which means the judge could get as many as 51 votes.

Getty Joe Manchin voted to advance the Kavanaugh nomination to a full vote and limit debate.

Manchin is in a tight race for re-election in his home state, where President Donald Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton by 42 percentage points in 2016.

Manchin expressed empathy for sexual assault victims.

Trump went on to say: "One of the reasons I chose him is because there's nobody with a squeaky-clean past like Brett Kavanaugh because he is an outstanding person and I'm very honoured to have chosen him".

Some protesters rushed past barriers in front of the U.S. Capitol Saturday before the confirmation vote for Brett Kavanaugh.

The Senate backed Brett Kavanaugh's nomination by 50 votes to 48.

Mr. Trump, flying to Kansas for a political rally, flashed a thumbs-up gesture when the tally was announced and praised Mr. Kavanaugh for being "able to withstand this frightful, awful attack by the Democrats".

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